Can’t Afford Dental Insurance? Here are 3 Great Alternatives!
If you don’t have dental insurance you shouldn’t wait to see a dentist. Seeing a dentist can be more important than it sometimes feels and unnecessarily stalling your visit will ultimately cost you more in the long run. Can’t get dental insurance coverage through your employer? If not, you may be tempted to skip dental cleanings and other treatments. But good basic care lowers your risk of suffering a major, expensive problem in the future. Three options if you are not covered by your employer include:
1. Opting in on a private dental insurance plan. In some cases you can join a plan and receive a group rate, which is the case for organizations such as Costco and AARP, which can significantly lower costs. Or, if you do not qualify for any type of group plan, you can purchase an individual insurance plan. This type of plan tends to be more expensive, but costs can be kept down if you choose a lower premium (which means a higher deductible, and more potential out-of-pocket costs in the future) or agree to a restricted pool of providers.
2. Joining a discount dental plan. These plans typically offer lower annual premiums than private insurance. Members of such plans receive discounts on preventative dental services as well as on other procedures. You can choose a plan to suit your budget and the services you need. Some plans include discounts on cosmetic dental work, so if you are looking to get an oral cosmetic procedure joining a discount dental plan could be a cost-effective option.
3. Forgoing any type of plan and paying as you go. This option is best for single, healthy individuals who do not feel that a dental plan is necessary. Lacking dental insurance is not as financially devastating as not having health insurance would be, but bills for dental procedures such as implants, gum surgery, and root canals can add up quickly. Since you never know what type of dental situation you could find yourself in, it is not advisable for everyone to forgo having any type of financial protection. Healthy singles with little record of dental or oral illnesses would be best suited for this option.
No matter what plan you choose, the old adage holds true: prevention is the best medicine. Practicing good hygiene (brushing after meals, flossing, mouthwash, etc), restricting sugar intake, visiting a dentist regularly, and refraining from smoking are all great ways to prevent a problem from arising in the future.