I’ve had terrible experiences when I try to save money at the dentist. The last time that I needed dental work, I went to a dental school. The experience was so traumatizing that I haven’t been able to go back to a dentist since. My anxiety about it is through the roof.
Of course, dental health is very important. Therefore, I need to make an appointment soon. At this point, I would pay any price at all to have a good, calm, healing experience. However, I know that I should at least look at my options for keeping costs down. In thinking about it, there are good and bad ways to save money at the dentist.
The Cheapest Dentist May Not Be the Best Dentist
If you don’t have any fear of dentists then maybe you’re willing to take your chances. I know plenty of people who go to low-cost dentists and never have problems. They go where their insurance allows. They go to clinics or places that are currently offering deals. It all works out fine for them.
However, since I’ve had a variety of bad experiences with dentists over the years, it’s essential for me to find a high-quality dentist. I think it’s a mistake to go with the cheapest option to save money at the dentist. I certainly think it’s fine to shop around. However, I also believe that you should do your due diligence. Research the doctor, read reviews, and interview them in advance to make sure they are a good fit.
Smart Ways to Save Money at the Dentist
Of course, the best way to save money at the dentist is to take good care of your teeth and gums. The better care you do at home each day, the less work the dentist will need to do. With that in mind, here are some other smart ways to save at the dentist:
Shop Around for Dental Insurance
Finding good dental insurance is hard. However, it’s out there. If you have the option to get good coverage, then do that. If you require a lot of dentist visits, then this can save you a lot of money. You might also consider the alternative of a Dental Savings Plan, which is similar to a Health Savings Plan.
Of course, you have to select a dentist that will work with your insurance. Make sure that you clarify that in advance.
Ask Your Dentist to Help You With a Plan
Dentists have a lot of flexibility when it comes to what they charge. If you establish a good relationship with your dentist, then they may be willing to work with you. At the very least, they may put you on a no-interest payment plan to help reduce the strain of the bills. Better yet, though, they may help you by:
- Reducing costs overall or for specific services
- Prioritizing what you need so you can limit your services
- Explaining lower-cost options; for example, different types of dentures at various price points
- Referring you to programs that will assist you with payment
- Offer a discount if you refer a friend
The dentist that I’m considering going to in San Francisco offers an annual membership program. You pay a flat fee for the year that covers a wide range of services that you might need. I believe that this could be a smart way for me to save money at the dentist while still going to a dentist that seems like the right fit for me.
Budget for Dental Needs
You can save money at the dentist by planning for dental expenses. Set aside a specific amount each month towards your dental health. That way, if you need to pay the dentist, you have the cash ready. You won’t have to use a credit card. Therefore you won’t have to pay interest. Plus you won’t have the stress of figuring out how to get the money for the procedure.
Look for Good Deals
As I mentioned above, I don’t think you should go with the cheapest dentist solely to save money. However, there’s nothing wrong with looking at dental deals. Sometimes there are good ones. For example, Opencare offers gift cards to people who successfully book and complete a dental visit through their website. There’s no catch, and you can choose your dentist from a list.
How do you save money at the dentist?