Is Dental Care Affordable?
Battle Ground, WA
People pay the least attention to dental health problems until they become serious. If you have spent years with healthy teeth and recently noticed some discomfort, you may want to get it checked in a timely manner. Dental treatments are expensive worldwide. The costs are significantly higher for patients in the U.S. A general dental exam may cost you up to $60 on average. Dr. Burke Jardine at Excel Dental advises their patients to maintain oral hygiene to avoid costly dental procedures. If you want to know how to make dental care more affordable, we have a few factors to share with you.
Dental Treatment Costs
Before we speak about the affordability factor, understanding dental treatment costs is essential. Dentistry is among the most expensive fields worldwide due to the sensitivity of treatments and material costs. While some patients develop dental problems for natural reasons, a large majority develop infections due to poor oral hygiene.
These statistics speak about the importance of oral hygiene and dental health. A tooth problem may worsen over time if left untreated. Losing a tooth may lead to dental implants, which cost between $3,000-$4,500 per tooth. Full-mouth dental implants may cost up to $90,000. These high figures are much more than the annual wages of many professionals in the country.
If you need a dental crown, the average cost may be $1,288 per crown. Dental veneers can cost $1,278. For a complete denture, the costs may be $1,831 on average. Dental bridges may cost between $2,000 and $5,000. These costs can be much over what an average professional can afford. However, you can try to minimize these costs in a few ways.
How to Make Dental Treatments More Affordable
Dental treatments can be costly when you have a major procedure done. Dentists advise periodic visits to ensure thorough teeth protection. If you have multiple dental patients in the family or foresee frequent dental visits due to personal dental health problems, here are a few ways to minimize the costs.
Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene
If you face a dental problem once, you may face another one again due to improper oral hygiene. Many dental patients overlook the importance of looking after their oral cleaning habits after getting treatment. Using dental floss, mouthwash and brushing twice daily can protect you from bacterial infections and gum disease. Many oral hygiene products are available. You may consult your dentist to pick the best one.
If you maintain a consistent oral hygiene routine, you may be able to prevent frequent dentist visits and procedures. Most dental problems result from improper hygiene (bacterial presence). Oral cleaning is an effective way to minimize your dental treatment costs.
Get Treatment from a Local Dental School
Local dental schools allow dentistry students to handle dental treatment cases at discounted rates. While local dental schools may not be your ideal fit for major procedures, they can save you significant amounts on general procedures. Local dental schools are also a great option for those without dental health insurance.
Getting in touch with a nearby dental school's clinical staff can help you evaluate the costs. If you have multiple dental schools in the city, you can get treatment costs from each and compare them to pick the more affordable option. When considering local dental schools, references and patient reviews may help you make an informed choice. You can also ask your friends or colleagues to find suitable options in your area.
Reduce Your Annual Visits
Some dental patients visit their dentist frequently throughout each quarter of the year. Frequent clinic visits can add more costs to your annual health coverage. Most of these visits may be due to general procedures like gum cleaning, which proper oral hygiene habits can avoid.
If your dentist schedules your visit every month for gum cleaning procedures, you may be able to avoid them by getting a suitable mouthwash and flossing solution. Taking care of your teeth at home can save you significant treatment costs. While you look after them, you may use recommended tooth care products to get effective results.
Get a Second Opinion
Despite the qualification and experience of a dentist, some cases may be handled better by other dentists in the city. If you have a persisting dental condition that makes you pay high costs, you may consider getting a second opinion. More often, a minor problem becomes a major one, and vice versa.
Second opinions are vital when you have major dental procedures pending. Talking to a specialized dentist or an oral surgeon may help you know your treatment options and minimize your frequent costs. You may also check with your friends or colleagues to find a cheaper option in the city.
Look for Discount Clinics
Some dental practices are kind enough to accommodate patients who cannot afford expensive treatment costs. Such clinics have discount plans or monthly installment options to facilitate patients. Breaking large one-time treatment costs into smaller monthly payments may be vital for your dental care needs.
Moreover, some dental clinics offer in-house finance plans with specific terms and conditions to accommodate patients. You can visit dental practices in your area to compare and decide the best fit for your budget.
Reconsider Your Insurance Plan
Your insurance plan has much to do with your dental health coverage. You may reconsider your insurance company if your insurance plan does not offer many dental treatments. Insurers have varying policies depending on the plan you choose. You can always reconsider your insurance plan to find a suitable option.
When comparing different plans, you may pick the ones offering decent dental health coverage annually for major dental implants, crowns, and bridges.
Dental care is expensive worldwide. However, taking a few vital steps can help minimize treatment costs. The above factors can help you evaluate your dental health problems, treatment costs, and affordability solutions. If you face a dental health issue, you should immediately consult a dentist to avoid bigger problems. Give us a call at Excel Dental at (360) 369-3930 to schedule an appointment if you are in need of dental care.