Going to the dentist is never at the top of anyone’s list of things to look forward to. Even with advances in comfort and modern materials, most people would consider going to the dentist as somewhat of a drag.
After 29 years of practice as a general dentist in Kansas City, I have realized three things that deter most people from dental treatment. First, fear of pain and discomfort. Second, the hectic, busy schedules of our lives and finally, cost. It is this third obstacle, “cost”, that this blog wants to focus this discussion. This article will give you “3 Ideas that will help you fit Affordable Dentistry” into your life.
Idea #1: Receive Affordable Dentistry that You NEED
In order to receive affordable dentistry, it is important to know what type of dentistry you need. This requires a complete dental exam with a full set of x-rays and a cleaning. If you have full coverage dental insurance, this procedure is covered at 100%. If you don’t have full coverage dental insurance, you can cut the cost for these services by looking for Affordable Dentistry special offers through Groupon or other similar services. After this appointment, you should have a diagnosis of what treatment(s) you need for your mouth to be in optimum dental health.
Idea #2: Receive Affordable Dentistry Options
Have 3 treatment plan options and utilize your dental insurance effectively. For example, let’s say you have $1000.00 to use on your dental insurance and 16 cavities. Some of these are cavities are so large they will need crowns and root canals if left untreated for long. A good plan would be to start with the worst 8 cavities and perform large fillings on these teeth to stabilize them. More than likely, this would use up your insurance for the year. Then, in January, when your insurance renews, finish up your dental care by filling the remaining 8 cavities. This affordable dentistry approach allows you to spread out your care over 2 calendar years and it takes care of all of your immediate dental needs. Further, it gets you out of a cycle of dental deterioration by filling all of your teeth in a relatively short period of time. Now, if you need to crown any of the teeth you had filled, you can use your dental insurance over the next 3-4 years to fine tune any treatment you need. This affordable dentistry approach keeps things from getting worse and is covered at a high level by most full coverage dental insurance plans.
Here is another example of an affordable dentistry: Let’s say you have full coverage dental insurance, have 4 cavities, and your out of pocket cost is $200.00. The problem is you can only afford $100.00 now. What do you do? We feel the best approach is to fill the two worst cavities first for $100.00 and then wait 2-3 months until you can afford to have the other two cavities treated. This affordable dentistry approach is reasonable and advocates for people’s time, schedules and budgets.
In order to obtain affordable dentistry, it is best to get a couple of treatment options and then you decide what is best for your budget. Some patients want to get all their dental treatment completed right away regardless of cost, while others want to spread it out over time. Having different treatment options and treatment timelines with the pros and cons of each spelled out to you, is a great way to make a well-informed decision at what pace you want to go.
Idea #3: Receive Affordable Dentistry by a dentist who loves what they do!
You do your job and go to a dentist who cares for you and loves his job. If your plan is to stretch out your dental insurance over several years, you need to pick up the pace of your brushing and flossing game a notch. By keeping your mouth impeccably clean, you slow down the rate of growth of existing disease conditions, buying you and your dental team time to restore your teeth.
Also, go to a dentist who loves what they do. This is pretty easy to determine. Ask around about whom other people like. When you go in for your initial visit, is the office friendly and fun? You can tell when someone cares or is just going through the motions. Finally, talk to the dentist. Is this the kind of person who will take care of you like they would take care of their own family? Are they genuine? Are they friendly? People that care are super willing to figure out affordable dentistry that works with your time, schedule and budget.
Affordable dentistry does not mean substandard, low quality or cheap dentistry. Overall, dentistry is not expensive. With the proper foresight and treatment planning that considers a range of treatment options and dental insurance variables, affordable dentistry is obtainable by everyone.
Dentistry should be fun, painless, and time efficient. A caring dental team with experience, knowledge and compassion should be able to find a pathway for every one of their patients to obtain affordable dentistry that is right for them.
At Thomas L. Anderson and Associates, we offer our patients affordable dentistry and look forward to working with you and your family to obtain and maintain your dental health and wellbeing! Please contact one of our three offices today to schedule an appointment.