Dental Tips Blog

Jun
4

4 Ways to Save Money on Dental Restorations

Posted in Dental Costs

In today’s demanding economy, everyone is looking to save a penny wherever possible. This includes being frugal when it comes the family’s dental care needs.

Being money smart doesn’t mean that you have to skimp on maintaining your oral health, however. Here are a few ways you can make sure you get affordable dental care.

  1. Maximize Insurance Benefits

Too many people take their dental insurance for granted. Get familiar with what your plan offers. Use up benefits before the end of the year when they expire. If you feel that your insurance isn’t meeting your or your family’s needs, talk with your employer about adjusting your plan.

  1. Ask About In-Office Financing Plans

It’s not always convenient to pay for that emergency root canal. That’s why most dental offices provide some means of financing your treatment or breaking down your bill into manageable portions.

A lot of practices even offer their own form of insurance alternative for those who can’t get it through work.

  1. Practice Good Prevention

There’s no better way to save on fillings, crowns, and the like than by keeping your teeth healthy in the first place!

A thorough oral hygiene routine will help you avoid the need for costly procedures. Toothpaste and floss are far cheaper than implants and dentures.

  1. Do Some Traveling

Sometimes, cheaper dental care is available right around the corner. If you don’t face a pressing emergency, try shopping around for a particular procedure at dental practices farther away from home. Treatment expenses vary with the local economy.

Contact your local dentist for more money-saving tips.

Posted on behalf of:
Noble Smiles Dentistry
9779 E. 146th St.
Noblesville IN 46060
(317) 893-3992

Jan
27

How to Make the Most of Your Dental Benefits Before the End of the Year

Posted in Dental Costs

As this year comes to an end, it is a good idea to use up your dental insurance plan benefits before they are lost. How can you use this to benefit your smile?

Here are some reasons why it’s beneficial to schedule a visit before the New Year:

  • Dental issues can get worse – When you put needed dental treatment on hold, those problems will only get worse.  If you wait to fill a cavity today, it could end up needing a root canal next year.
  • You paid your premiums – Since you are paying monthly premiums to have dental insurance, you need to use your benefits so that you’re not paying more for the very same work.
  • Maximum renews each year – Most dental plans have a maximum amount of dental benefits they allow each year.  If you don’t use these benefits up to the maximum, you will lose them because they will not carry over into the next year. Use this to your benefit.
  • Preventive care – The services you can always use your dental insurance benefits on is getting regular dental cleanings and exams.  Your dentist will check for gum disease, cavities and oral cancer.  If you do need further dental treatment, you can use the remainder of your benefits on those procedures before the end of the year.  Regular preventive visits help you limit the need for treatments like fillings or crowns later.

Have you and your dependents used up the maximum of your dental benefits for this year?  If not, call your dentist and schedule a cleaning and exam for each of you before the end of the year.  This will help you to not only maintain your dental health but to also receive the maximum dental benefits that you have already paid for!

Posted on behalf of:
Gainesville Dental Group
1026 Thompson Bridge Rd
Gainesville, GA 30501
(770) 297-0401

Feb
4

Making Dental Care Affordable

Posted in Dental Costs

Even with the cost of inflation, dental benefit maximums have remained at the same financial amounts since the 1980s. Since taking care of your mouth is important, you need to know how to help your dental care be as affordable as possible. Here are 3 important tips to keep in mind:

Earlier Care

It goes without saying, but having routine preventive care is cheaper than waiting to see a dentist for a problem. It also allows your dentist to diagnose problems when they are smaller and much more affordable to treat. What is a small filling today could be a root canal down the road if you wait to get it looked at. 

Maximizing Your Insurance Benefits

The types of dental care you get have different levels of coverage. For instance, preventive care that includes fluoride and sealants might be 100%, while a filling is 80%. Having these non-invasive, preventive steps taken can keep your teeth stronger and help them repel tooth decay. When it’s time to set up a treatment plan, your dentist will review your options with you so that you can select a treatment that best fits your needs. Remember that benefits expire at the end of the year, so it helps to take advantage of them early! 

Financing Options

If a portion of your treatment is not covered by dental insurance, ask about financing options. Many dentists offer in-office options or 3rd party financing to help patients have their necessary treatment while still making affordable payments each month.

The investments that you put into your smile help it last for a lifetime. Putting your care off can cause you to lose teeth or even your confidence. Ask your dentist what options are out there to help you afford the care you need.

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339

 

May
21

Why Doesn’t My Insurance Cover That?

Posted in Dental Costs

Have you ever gone to the dentist and been told that you needed to have a certain procedure in order to restore, repair, or save a damaged tooth? Perhaps it’s been years since you’ve had a dental check-up due to lack of insurance coverage, and now that you’re on a new plan you just want to get your smile healthy again. After talking about what options you have to restore your teeth, the financial coordinator discusses the fees for each service and your estimated insurance benefits, only to find out that your insurance may or may not pay for a certain procedure.

Your insurance coverage is based on the type of plan that either you or your employer have chosen as part of a package. Some types of insurances only cover a set percentage of certain procedures, regardless of the price. For instance, a common example is an insurance plan that pays 80% of restorative procedures and 50% of major procedures. This leaves the patient responsible for a portion of their fees, and requires a financial investment on behalf of the patient for care to be completed. Other types of insurance plans are based on a percentage of the fee, assuming that the fee does not exceed a dollar amount. If the fee goes over that amount, the additional difference is the responsibility of the patient.

Getting routine preventive care is important to keep your smile healthy and maximize the amount of coverage that most patients receive. Typical insurance plans cover 100% of preventive procedures, maximizing the patients ability to access routine dental cleanings and checkups, exams, and x-rays to screen for decay before it becomes too progressed.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Mansouri, Lawrenceville Family Dental Care, P.C.

Google

Dec
17

Affording Your Dental Care

Posted in Dental Costs

It’s not possible to put a price on the health or appearance of your smile. Your teeth are one of the most important tools that you use every day of your life. From eating, talking, and smiling, our teeth significantly impact nearly every interaction or meal that we experience throughout our life. Keeping your teeth healthy and being proud of how they look shouldn’t have to be something that people can’t afford due to their cost of living expenses.

Seeing a dentist that arranges payments through your insurance carrier can help minimize any financial barriers that stand between you and keeping your teeth healthy. One of the best ways to minimize care expenses it to see your dentist regularly for preventive care appointments such as routine teeth cleaning and dental checkups. Most preventive services are completely covered by the majority of insurance providers, and they can help keep treatment needs smaller (and more affordable.)

If you don’t have insurance coverage, it may be possible to set up a payment plan through your dentist. Most dentists understand how important it is for their patients to maintain affordable access to dental care, and will have some type of payment plan available to help bridge this financial gap. Others may offer a 3rd party financing service that allows the patient to finance the treatment through another service, so that the dentist is not responsible for collecting on any due fees.

Dental treatment is always more affordable when needs are addressed as soon as possible. Never put off your dental care simply because a tooth does not hurt. Many small cavities may have no symptoms at all until they have spread and the tooth is in need of a root canal.

Posted on behalf of Mockingbird Dental

Sep
25

The Cost of Dental Care

Posted in Dental Costs

For many Americans, paying for dental care can be a challenge, especially for dental procedures beyond teeth cleaning and filling cavities.  Whether you have dental insurance or not, there can be a substantial out of pocket cost associated with quality dental care. Dental insurance is typically known as a “maintenance plan” that will cover cleanings, X-rays, and up to half the cost of a crown. The maximum annual benefits, $1000 to $1500, have not changed in the last 50 years despite the rise in dental costs. If you need a lot of work done, your dental insurance will only cover part of the expenses and you will have some significant out of pocket costs.

So why the high costs in the first place? First, dentists want their patients to realize that dental care is not a commodity. Oral health is like any other medical health – you want professional, specialized care. Most people do not choose an oncologist or a cardiologist based on price, so why would they choose a dentist based on price? As in many cases, you get what you pay for. One dentist quotes you $790 for a crown and another quotes you $1900. Labs differ in the quality of the products they produce. You want your dentist to use a high-quality lab, even if it will increase your cost. The last thing you want is to pay more money out of pocket to re-do a bad procedure and have to pay for another one.

Overhead costs for running a modern dental practice are huge. Those flat screen TVs you enjoy watching while having your teeth cleaned? Those polished tools that are barely felt in your mouth? Those fast and high quality X-rays that you have developed? Those cost money. While you may not appreciate them at the time you open your bill, you appreciate them at the time of your visit.

Many people dread going to the dentist, and even more dread paying for it. But your expenses are not wasted. Oral health is a crucial part of your overall health. Call your Johns Creek dentist before you go. Whether you have dental insurance or not, it will ease the pain of receiving your bill by knowing beforehand what procedures will be covered and how much they will cost you.

Posted on behalf of Randy Muccioli

Google

Aug
1

Paying for Dental Care With Your Flexible Spending Account

Posted in Dental Costs

If you are one of the millions of Americans who are not fortunate enough to be covered by dental insurance, consider using your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to help pay for the cost of dental care.  In this economy, many employers are cutting back on benefits and many no longer offer dental insurance.  If it is offered, it is so expensive that many employees don’t elect coverage.  Even those who have dental coverage find that they end up paying a lot out of pocket for many dental procedures.

Whether you have dental insurance or not, you cannot afford to put off routine preventative dental care such as regular cleanings and checkups and addressing tooth decay and gingivitis at the first sign of trouble.  Skipping routine dental care just leads to bigger, more expensive dental problems down the road.  In addition, poor oral health is linked to poor overall health so you need to find a way to get your routine preventative dental care regularly.

One way to reduce the cost of dental care is to pay for your dental care through your FSA.  Many people don’t realize that dental care is an allowable expense under an FSA but other than purely cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening, most dental care is an allowable expense.  Allowable expenses include dental cleanings, fillings, braces,  implants, dentures, crowns and bridges.

By using your FSA to pay for dental care, you will save an amount equal to your marginal tax rate because the money you contribute to your FSA comes out of your paycheck pre-tax.  If you are in the 20% tax bracket, that’s a savings of 20% on your dental care expenses.  Let Uncle Sam help you pay for your dental care by using your FSA.

Oct
20

Use Your Flexible Spending Account On Year End Dental Expenses

Posted in Dental Costs

Each year, many of us decide to participate in ‘cafeteria’ plans offered by employers to help provide a tax spending on health care or child care expenses.  At the end of the year, it is very common to have some extra money left over in the health care flexible spending account.  This is a good thing.  It means you have been healthy this last year.  But, it is bad because this money is ‘use or lose’ money.  So, what to do with your leftover cafeteria plan money?

Did you know that dentistry costs are qualified expenses under the flexible spending account rules?  Have you been putting off getting that crown, bridge, or dental implant because you are concerned the cost?   

Maybe you are embarrassed by the look of your teeth?  Do you have an extra space or gap?  Perhaps a missing tooth that never was replaced?  Did you take frequent antibiotics as a child, causing some dental changes to occur in your tooth enamel or tooth structure?

Maybe you just haven’t had a regular dental check up and cleaning in a while?  Routine dental check ups are important to ensure the health of your teeth, gums, mouth and lips.  Routine cleanings, when performed by a licensed dental hygienist will help keep your teeth healthy for months to come.

All of these expenses are great ways to use your flexible spending account money and it will be like a free trip to the dentist!  Don’t ‘lose’ the money!  Instead, find a great way to help improve yourself and put that money to work for you.

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