If you placed an order at a drive through window of your local coffee shop and then heard the person on the speaker say, “that’ll be $87.28, please drive around,” would you just nod and start moving?
That’s an outrageous price for a coffee, and your first inclination would probably be that someone made a huge mistake. You certainly wouldn’t just drive around to the second window and hand over your debit card. So, why do you give away your hard-earned cash at the dentist’s office with nothing more than a heavy sigh?
Quality dental care is worth paying for
Before going any further, it’s important to clarify:
Of course, going to the dentist is not of equivalent value to picking up to-go coffee or lunch. In fact, one of the key points we often cover in this blog is the fact that maintaining excellent oral health is of prime importance to your overall health, and it’s worth prioritizing even in the tightest of budgets.
Rather, the point we’re making here is that handing over your money when it’s possible to pay less for the same high-quality services isn’t the best decision.
So, what options are there if you want to avoid paying premium prices for every dental service you receive?
Look into local low- or no-cost programs
In many communities, individuals in certain income brackets may receive low- or no-cost preventive health care at clinics, hospitals, or participating offices throughout the area. There are usually strict qualification requirements, but if you qualify, it could be wise to accept this kind of help where it’s available.
Shop around before you go in
It’s important to feel comfortable with your dentist and their staff, so many people continue going to the same dentist for years without giving it much thought. However, if you’re paying out of pocket for dental services, it may be a good idea to review your options.
"In many communities, individuals in certain income brackets may receive low- or no-cost preventive health care at clinics..."
Call around to other dental offices in the area and find out what they charge for any general or advanced services you would normally receive through your current dentist. Then, if you find a better price, let your current provider know about it and ask if they’d be willing to match the lower price you found.
While they are skilled medical professionals, dentists are also business people, and they understand the value of happy, loyal customers. Most will prefer to lose a few dollars in profit rather than lose you as a patient.
Join a dental discount program
A dental discount program offers the kind of discount noted above, but on a much larger scale.
By joining one of these plans, you get access to a list of participating dentists who have agreed to offer substantial discounts off their normal retail fees. The monthly or annual membership fee is generally low, and offers impressive value compared to paying in full out of pocket.
For example, the affordable Dental Solutions program costs just $9.95 per month to provide up to 50% off the retail cost of services at any of our nationwide panel of participating providers, and the one membership includes you and anyone in your house.
Take care of your own oral health
And, let’s not forget the simplest and most effective way to save money on dental care: by avoiding it when possible!
Simply make it a point to take excellent care of your teeth by brushing at least twice a day, flossing at least once, and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash regularly. If you keep up with these simple, basic oral health self care habits, you will likely only need a regular cleaning every six months. And it only costs a few dollars for supplies. Now that’s an affordable dental solution.