[caption id="attachment_969" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Beautiful woman with glass of water over white[/caption] If spending less money on corrective dental treatments and maintaining a healthier smile in the new year is...
Putting off going to the dentist is tempting, especially if you have previously been told that you need to correct a costly dental problem. While the costs are a nuisance, skipping the dentist and ignoring issues will put your overall health at risk. Even leaving something simple untreated, such as a small cavity, can quickly develop into a more severe problem. Fortunately, we have five smart ways to help pay for expensive dental work that isn’t covered by your insurance.
Using Insurance For Dental Work
Your medical insurance provider may cover specific dental work if it is deemed “medically necessary.” It’s wise to keep in mind that what is considered medically necessary varies from provider to provider. Dental health can quickly affect the rest of your body; therefore, there can be a fine line between what is considered a dental procedure and a medical procedure.
Oral surgery, for example, could potentially be billed as a medical procedure. While dental procedures are not typically covered by medical insurance, there may be specific components to your treatment that may be covered under certain circumstances.
This type of coverage will be a case-by-case basis. Before moving forward with any dental procedures, it’s wise to speak with your medical insurance provider first to see if any coverage will be extended. This may also be an excellent time to discuss what potential out-of-pocket costs may arise for specific dental procedures.
Utilize Payment Plans Offered By Your Dental Office
Paying for expensive dental bills overtime on a weekly or monthly basis can be much more manageable than paying a large sum at once. Most dental offices offer flexible payment plans for procedures that are not covered under your dental insurance. Because payment plans vary from dentist to dentist, it’s vital to speak with your dental office about what type of payment plan they offer.
Asking questions like “Is there an interest fee, and if so, how much is it?” and “Does your credit need to be checked to be approved?” will help keep you from getting blindsided by any unexpected costs. These payment plans may be offered directly through your dental office or offered by a third-party service like CareCredit.
Use a Health Savings Account
A health savings account gives you the ability to put pre-taxed money each month into an account that may be used for medical expenses. This type of potential financing option can help to lower your overall health care costs by using pre-taxed money. Many dental patients use the money in their HSA account to help pay for any co-payments or dental procedures that they may know are coming up.
Negotiate the Price
Depending on your dentist and your situation, the cost of your dental work may be negotiable. Ask your dental provider all of the questions you need to make sure you actually need the procedures they are recommending. Procedures like teeth whitening are considered a cosmetic treatment and may not be completely necessary to your oral health.
You may also be able to get a discount on dental work by paying cash or the entire cost upfront. Some dentists will be flexible for patients who do not have dental insurance and offer an uninsured discount rate. If your budget for dental work is tight, see if your dental office is willing to give you a payment plan or push out your bill for a few months. The worst scenario is that they say no, so it never hurts to ask.
Take Out a Personal Loan
A personal loan is an unsecured loan that you can use for almost anything, including dental work. Using a personal loan to finance dental work may be a better option than using a credit card. The lower the interest rate, the lower your monthly payments will be, and personal loans tend to have lower interest rates than credit cards.
How much money you will be able to borrow is flexible, so a dental loan may be the perfect option for covering additional future dental needs, from basic cavity fillings to more costly and extensive procedures.
Avoid Future Expenses
Dental expenses don’t come out of nowhere. You can help to eliminate potential costs and issues with excellent oral hygiene habits. Daily brushing and flossing once a day is a great start for caring for your teeth at home. Bi-annual dental cleanings will help with removing stubborn plaque and calculus that you can’t reach with your daily brushing habits.
Taking care of emerging dental issues as soon as possible also aids with keeping dental expenses to a minimum. If you’ve been putting off a teeth cleaning or having a small cavity filled, call Dr. Aubrey Baudean DDS today to keep dental work from making a huge impact on your wallet.