Being uninsured can make getting the dental care you need quite expensive. At the same time, you need to do your best to see your dentist at least twice a year for regular cleanings and exams; otherwise, you run the risk of developing cavities, gum disease, and other dental conditions that'll cot you even more money to treat over time. Fortunately, for those on a tight budget, there are plenty of ways to reduce the cost of your dental care.
Get a Second Opinion
If your dentist has told you that you need an expensive dental procedure done, and you have any skepticism about the diagnosis at all, it's in your best interest to seek a second opinion from another dentist. After all, many dentists offer free exams for new patients, so if you shop around, you shouldn't even have to pay for that second opinion. From there, you can find out for sure whether or not you actually need the treatment or procedure that's being recommended to you by your regular dentist. You never know; there could be a much less expensive treatment option available to you--or you may have been misdiagnosed!
Find a Local Dental School
Another great way to save on your dental care is to have basic cleanings, fillings, and other routine procedures done at a local dental school. Many colleges and universities offer heavily discounted prices for patients who are willing to have their teeth worked on by dental students. If the thought of trusting your dental health to a student makes you cringe, rest assured that you'll have an experienced dentist overseeing each procedure throughout your appointment. If need-be, he or she will interject to ensure that things are done correctly. Still, understand that you may need to sign paperwork--such as a waiver--before having any work done.
Inquire About Cash Discounts
Finally, if you'd rather stick with your regular dentist but still want to save some money, consider asking your dentist if he or she offers a cash discount. Often times, dentists, like Couchman Center for Complete Dentistry, will offer fairly substantial discounts on cleanings and procedures for those who opt to pay in cash rather than using a credit card or applying for on-site financing. Even if your dentist doesn't outwardly advertise a cash discount, it's worth asking about. Either way, you can always try to negotiate prices with your dentist--especially if you've been a patient for many years.