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Saving Money at the Dentist

January 27, 2022

A recent report from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) on data from 1996 to 2015 concluded that more Americans have dental coverage than they did 20 years ago but their spending at the dental clinic is significantly higher.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) made dental insurance coverage much more common for children. 88% of those under 21 were covered in 2015, compared to 73% in 1996. Whereas for adults, progress has been comparatively slower especially for senior citizens.

After retirement, most people learn that Medicare doesn’t cover routine checkups and even people with dental coverage struggle to pay for costly procedures like root canal therapy and oral surgery.

The tips mentioned below are from dentist Fadi Farhat, one of the renowned dentists in Sterling Heights, MI, who can help make the costs of dental care more manageable.

Tips for More Affordable Dental Care

Practice good oral hygiene

The most important dental tip anyone could ever give would be to brush your teeth twice a day. Flossing once every few days would only make your dental health better. Just to be safe, avoid the excessive consumption of sugary foods and drinks. Drinking lots of water will also go a long way.

Get covered if you can

Most jobs come with fringe-benefits which include dental care. If this is so, then you should sign up for dental insurance as most plans offer dental exams, X-rays, and cleanings, as well as a significant number of procedures such as fillings and crowns.

Consider dental savings plans

While savings plans are not as effective as dental coverage, it is still a very good option for those struggling for coverage. An annual plan usually costs around $80 to $200. However, it can provide access to numerous dentists who offer discounts as high as 50% for members.

Bargain hunt

In this day and age, you can find almost anything on the internet and there are several sites that let you look up the costs of dentists near you. This can help you compare them or even ask your dentist for a discount.

Try community health centers and university dental schools

Dr. Fadi Farhat, a dentist in Sterling Heights, MI, points out that both of these options offer low-cost dental care. University dental schools are usually operated by dental students who do not have experience but are supervised by experienced dentists.

Avoid unnecessary treatments

Before undergoing expensive procedures or exams, question yourself if it’s really necessary. For example, X-rays only need to be done every 2 to 3 years but still, people have X-rays done very often.

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