Five Frugal Tips to Save Money On Dental Costs

By Samantha Savory

Dental costs are rising faster than inflation, and although most people, including myself, loathe the regular dentist trip – it’s a necessity to be healthy and happy. =)  In an effort to cut costs throughout your budget, without going without needed care, here are some frugal budgeting tips to help you save a few bucks on dental costs.

Prevention: Changing your eating habits can help prevent your teeth from decaying — also known as a prevention method from those annoying cavities that everyone hates. Eating less sugar cannot only can help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions of losing weight, but it can also keep your mouth healthy.  Although dentists say to avoid doubled refined food products like white flour, wheat flour, whole grain foods and anything with fructose because they are harmful to the teeth, you are still probably going to eat some of those products some of the time.  Those products are typically found in bread, crackers, cookies, doughnuts, breakfast cereals, muffins, pastries, tortillas, bagels, and sandwiches.  If you do sporadically eat these products, just make sure to always brush your teeth and floss after in an effort to prevent damage.   Remember, the more refined the food product is the more harm it can bring for your teeth.

See a Dentist at Least Once a Year: What starts out as a toothache can quickly become a full-blown root canal if you ignore it for a while.  Not only will this lead you to more pain, but it could end up costing you thousands of dollars in dental work.  By getting regular cleaning sessions, and by going to the dentist at least once a year for a check up, you can see if you have any new problems, and quickly solve them before they get serious and expensive.

Try a Discount Network: If your employer doesn’t offer dental insurance, look for a discount plan.  With most discount-club companies, like AARP or any network/group that you pay annual fees to be a part of, you most likely have the option of getting discounted prices from participating dentists. Experts warn of fraudulent companies claiming to offer discount plans, so be sure to do your homework when picking a company to work with.  A little work and research can end up saving you a bundle of money on dental work in the long run.

Keep Open Communication with your Dentist: When you hear the terms ‘root canal’ or ‘bridge’, large amounts of money are usually expected to render the cost.  If you find yourself stuck with major dental work that is a necessity, talk with your dentist and tell him or her your financial situation.  If you can’t afford to pay $2,000 all at once, ask about a payment program or other methods of payment.  It never hurts to ask.

Go Back to School … Dentist School: Many dental schools welcome patients to come in for a discounted price, usually half or a third of what a regular dentist charges. Getting dental care from dentists-in-training — under the supervision of facility members and professionals, is a great way to save money on your dental care. You can pay as little as a third of what a traditional dentist would charge by going to a dental school to get your cleanings and dental work done.

Have another suggestion to keeping a healthy mouth without breaking your budget? Leave a comment in the comment section below! 😉

About the Author

Samantha Savory is a 20-something-year-old recent communications graduate whose mission is to financially succeed and thrive in this economy. She writes about personal finance and anything related to shopping and saving money.