There are many reasons you may put off visiting the dentist, including the potential cost. If you have ever found yourself worrying about dental bills, or worse, putting off treatment because of it, then there are a few things you can do to make them more manageable. That’s why it’s important to find a compatible and affordable dentist in Chicago!
Shop Around for Insurance – And Know What Your Coverage Includes
Perhaps the absolute best way to make dental bills more manageable is to improve your dental insurance coverage. Importantly, you need to not just have insurance but also know what is covered. Make sure that your chosen dentist is in-network and that they accept your insurance. Confirming that is typically as simple as talking to the receptionist.
As you compare insurance companies, pay attention to every aspect of the cost. That includes premiums, deductibles, co-pays, coverage caps, and what is covered. Confirm that two cleanings are covered and how much of other procedures, from fillings to crowns to whitening to root canals, will be covered.
Good dental insurance should cover two cleanings per year and annual X-rays in full or significantly reduce their costs. They should also cover some of the costs for crowns, fillings, sealants, braces, anesthesia, and more. The exact coverage varies greatly by insurance.
Consider Financing Your Treatment
Depending on the dental work you need to be done, it may come with a high up-front cost. You may not realize it, but your dentist likely offers to finance, so you don’t have to put off the procedure or treatment until you can afford to pay for it all at once.
This works just like financing for anything else. You agree to a schedule of lower regular payments until you pay off the treatment. Always ask about financing before saying no to a necessary procedure because of the cost.
More and more dental offices are offering financing in some form as a way to encourage patients to care for their teeth. Dr. Sharma’s office, for example, works with Lending Club and CareCredit, both of which offer financing to patients. Lending Club functions similar to traditional financing, while CareCredit is a credit card designed for paying dental bills and other medical expenses. It lets you pay in smaller installments that you can manage. The nature of it means that no interest is paid either, so you only pay back exactly what was used.
Consider a Health Savings Account
An often-overlooked way to manage your dental bills (and other medical bills) is with a health savings account (HSA). Many employers offer this type of account that lets you save money to use for deductibles, co-payments, and other out-of-pocket costs. Importantly, these accounts let you designate pre-tax dollars for those costs. As such, each dollar you earn goes a little bit further.
Always Look Through the Bill
Your dentist doesn’t want to make billing mistakes, but it can happen occasionally. As such, it’s a good habit to glance over your dental bill when you receive it to confirm that everything looks correct. This also gives you the chance to confirm that your dental insurance covered what it was supposed to.
Never Skip Preventative Care
It may seem counterintuitive, but spending a little bit of money on your teeth can easily save you a significant amount over time. That’s because preventative care will help prevent oral health issues from developing in the first place.
If those issues do develop and you have regular preventative care, that means that Dr. Dhiraj Sharma will be looking at your mouth regularly. This gives him the opportunity to spot the problem early on. That’s crucial as early intervention is typically a lot more affordable than letting the problem get worse.
After all, a filling or deep cleaning will be a lot more affordable than implants or root canals.
Prioritize At-Home Oral Hygiene
This extends to your at-home dental care as well as your regular cleanings and checkups. Spending a few dollars a month on the floss, toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash will help keep your mouth healthy. Every cavity that you prevent stops you from having to save money on a filling. This extends to every other aspect of oral health.
Simply put, keeping your teeth and gums healthy prevents the need for expensive (and potentially uncomfortable) procedures in the future.
Follow Your Dentist’s Advice
Take this a step further and incorporate your dentist’s advice into your at-home routine. This is crucial as your dentist may spot early warning signs of issues that don’t need to be corrected yet. In some cases, improving your at-home dental hygiene routine can help the issue resolve itself without extra procedures. An example would be if your gums are showing signs of receding, but you don’t require gum grafting yet. Your dentist may suggest you stay on top of flossing or use a certain mouthwash to help prevent the need for grafting.
The same idea applies to other potential issues as well. Remember, your dentist is an expert, and their suggestions are in your best interests.
Don’t Put Off Suggested Procedures and Treatments
Another example of spending a little to save a lot is getting in the habit of not putting off treatments or procedures that your dentist suggests. Whether it is filling a cavity, getting a crown, or even pulling a diseased tooth, delaying treatment can worsen the problem. For example, an untreated cavity can lead to you requiring a root canal or even losing the tooth and requiring an implant. While that is an extreme example, the point is that you eventually won’t be able to put off the treatment anymore, and it will be more expensive than it would have been.
Talk to the Dentist About Your Options
Even if your dentist doesn’t offer financing or you don’t want to go with that option, you should always talk to the dentist about your payment options if you are concerned about the cost. They can let you know about financing, credit schemes, insurance, and discounts. You never know unless you ask. You can learn more about your options by contacting the best dentist in Lincoln Park.