How to Afford Dental Care

by Dr. Yasaman Garakani on June 13, 2016

blog_june.pngA toothache is painful. Knowing that the toothache means an unexpected dental bill can be even more painful. However, you should never put off oral care, even if you are tempted to do so because of financial reasons. Unfortunately, skipping cleanings and ignoring signs of gum disease will only cost you more in the long run. Here’s how to plan ahead to ensure you can afford the dental care you need.

Benefits: Health benefits are flexible. In many cases you can allocate how much or how little of your funds to spend in a given area. For example, if you know your children will need braces, your work benefit plan may allow you to reallocate funds you are not using (for example, massage allowance) and roll it into the benefits, like dental, that you want. If you do not have benefits at work, or if you don’t have enough coverage through a group plan, there are plenty of insurers that provide affordable monthly premiums for individual health care plans. With a little research, your dental emergency can be far less stressful. Benefits equal peace of mind – and the ability to get rid of that horrible toothache faster.

Budget for it: How much money do you bring in? How much do you spend each month? Do you consider your gross or your net income when you think of your finances? Do you track your spending? If you can’t answer these questions, it’s time make a budget. Life’s emergencies, such as fixing a broken tooth or having oral surgery, are much easier to handle if you have a budget. Make an emergency fund part of your budget. Put a little in it each month. Even just ten dollars here and there adds up. When you see where the money goes in your budget, you’ll be able to figure out how much you can save. When it’s time to go to the dentist, or if your plan doesn’t cover all your dental needs, you’ll have money in your budget to help out with the expense.

Dental Schools: If money is tight and you have no room in your budget and no benefits to cover your dental costs, contact your nearest dental school. Sometimes students, under the guidance of professional teachers, can provide services at a reduced cost.

Social Services: If money is very tight, you could also look into what social assistance programs are available in your area.

There are many options when it comes to paying for your dental care, but the best thing everyone can do is to prevent a dental emergency in the first place. Floss and brush your teeth regularly and get your cleanings done on schedule. Wear a mouth guard if you play contact sports.

Don’t let a visit to the dentist stretch your wallet. Plan ahead so you can keep that beautiful smile.

The Smile Dental Centre offers a full range of dental services backed by outstanding patient care for children and adults. The Smile Dental Centre won the Consumer Choice Award four years in a row (2013 – 2016) for general and cosmetic dentistry in the London, ON region. Now that’s something to smile about!"

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