The best way to save money on dental care is by going to the dentist regularly. It may sound counterproductive, but investing time in taking proper care of your teeth both at home and at the dental office means you’re investing in preventative oral health care instead of restorative oral care.
Keep your hard-earned money in your bank account by following these practical ways to save money and avoid restorative dental work.
Practicing Good Oral Hygiene At Home
Consistently taking excellent care of your teeth and overall oral health at home is a critical piece in maintaining your overall health and saving you money.
Correct Brushing Techniques. Removing plaque does not take vigorous brushing. Brushing your teeth gently and thoroughly to clean every reachable surface of your teeth is best. Not brushing your teeth correctly and consistently will result in tartar, or hardened plaque, an increase in cavities, tooth decay or gum disease.
Floss Regularly. It’s equally important to clean your gum line, the surfaces of your teeth, and between your teeth properly. Just brushing is not enough, taking proper care of your gums cannot be done without flossing. Plaque, tartar, and bacteria all tend to form around the gum line, so take your time and floss once a day to aid in dislodging any debris.
Fluoride Toothpaste. Toothpaste that contains fluoride is considered imperative by most dentists. Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste is a staple in managing proper oral hygiene and is proven to help in preventing cavities.
Don’t Skip Regular Dental Appointments
Cleanings. Preventing tooth decay is entirely possible with regular professional dental cleanings. Most dentists recommend bi-annual cleanings, and this type of service is generally completely covered under your dental insurance policy.
Exams. Having regular dental exams, in addition to cleanings, also gives your dentist a chance to catch potential issues while they are still small and relatively easy to restore. The bigger and more out-of-control a dental problem gets, the more expensive it’s going to be to correct. This type of service is generally also covered under your dental insurance policy.
One of the best ways to fight back against harmful bacteria that causes cavities is by drinking more water. A hydrated mouth creates saliva which works as your mouth’s natural defense system. Drinking water during meal times, after snacking, and throughout the day will keep your mouth continually fighting tooth decay.
Enroll In Dental Insurance Benefits
Dental insurance helps to cover the cost of preventative and some restorative dental treatments. Your dental insurance policy will likely include all of your preventative care, including cleanings, checkups, x-rays, and necessary treatments such as fillings up to a certain percentage. Dental insurance also typically assists in paying a predetermined portion of more complex procedures including root canals and crowns.
Using an In-Network Dental Office
The first step in understanding your dental insurance coverage is determining what is considered in-network versus out-of-network coverage. Most benefit plans allow patients to select any dentist, yet only a specific set of dental office are considered in-network.
In-network. To be considered an in-network dental office, the practice has to agree to use specific treatments, materials, and to charge what the insurance plan deems as a fair and average price. An in-network dental office works with the insurance provider who chooses what treatments will be covered under the specific insurance policy.
Out-of-network. An out-of-network dental office can recommend and provide any dental treatments to patients and are also responsible for charging prices as they seem fair. An out-of-network dental office allows patients to have the flexibility to choose treatments that look and feel more natural as opposed to only being offered limited materials and procedures that will be covered. These attractive options and upgrades often end up costing the patient more in out-of-pocket costs.
Consider a Dental Savings Plan
If you are not enrolled in dental insurance, or you are unable to get coverage, a dental savings plan can still help in saving you money. Dental savings plans are an affordable alternative to traditional dental insurance. Plan members are offered discounts on dental services from dentists who have agreed to accept a specific dental savings plan. These plans often have no annual caps and no restrictions on obtaining care for preexisting conditions, making them an excellent option for both singles and families.
Using CareCredit to Help Make Treatments Affordable
Smile Professionals of Dayton is dedicated to providing the highest quality care and treatment in an affordable way. Payment plans are available through CareCredit for an alternative way to afford dental expenses.
Don’t skip dental exams and cleanings thinking it will save you money. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Scott B. Phillippi DDS today.