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What to Do When You Don't Have Dental Insurance

Living a Better Life® (from the editor's desk)
by Michelle Jones

What do you do when the dentist gives you the news that you need expensive dental work such as fillings, crowns, or maybe worst of all, a root canal? If you have dental insurance and you can afford the copay (usually 50%) then you're all set. If you can't afford it, or do not even have dental insurance, you have options.

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To Pull or Not to Pull

To save money you might be tempted to have a tooth that needs work to just be pulled. For the most frugal of frugal money-savers, it may even make sense. However, in the long run, it's better to keep all of your teeth if there is ANY way possible. As you age, a missing tooth will cause the surrounding teeth to shift, putting them at risk as well. This is when one bad decision can lead to another, and another, and before you know it, you could be living on apple sauce for the rest of your life.

Set Aside the Money

Figure out how many months it will take you to save up the amount needed and schedule your appointment for an approximate date close to that time. If the work is going to cost over a $1,000.00 you might also consider financing it through the dental office if they offer it. Just be aware, if you make a late payment (even by one day) the interest rate charged on your 'payment plan' could skyrocket. Better to save up the money first, if you can. These types of finance plans are best for emergencies and should be paid off as soon as possible. We have one for car repairs and couldn't do without it.

If you do have dental insurance, PLEASE get your dental work done while you have it! You can thank me later.

Get a Dental Discount Plan

Having been without dental insurance many times over the years, our family always opts for getting discounts at our dentist through Dental Plans which allows participating dentists to offer deep discounts up to 50% off their regular fees. The plans run around $100 (some less, some more) but when you figure in the discounts you'll receive they pay for themselves in one visit. They also cover regular dental checkups and x-rays too, so for our family of 6... YES!

Search for your local dentist and choose which plan is best for you; family or individual - more or less coverage. Our dentist participates in 9 different plans. Some plans also offer vision and prescription discounts, which is the one we usually get. The annual savings add up quick.

Tip: We do not renew our discount plan every year, just when we need it the most. This helps save even more money!

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Copyright © 2014 by Michelle Jones. All rights reserved.
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