Visiting the dentist is a major expense, especially if you have a whole family’s teeth to take care of. Even in the UK, where most healthcare is free, you still have to pay for dental appointments and treatment. In fact, a recent survey has found that many people are putting off getting their teeth checked or having vital procedures carried out because of a lack of cash. But is there any safe alternative to paying expensive dental bills?
Take good care of your teeth
The best way to avoid paying too much money for your dental care is to take good care of your teeth! By brushing, flossing and using mouthwash daily you are more likely to avoid the most common causes of oral health problems. Make sure you attend your check-up appointments with your family dentist, even if they do cost a few pounds. If you do have any problems with your teeth, the chances are that fixing them will be cheaper if the dentist has spotted them before they get really serious.
Dental school appointments
If you are lucky enough to live near a university that teaches dentistry, you will find that you can get cheap appointments in the dental school; provided you don’t mind having your teeth worked on by a student! Don’t worry, though, they won’t let them do anything too dramatic and they are under constant supervision by fully trained professionals. You may still have to pay something for their services, but it will be significantly cheaper than private cosmetic dentists.
Travel abroad for treatment
So-called medical tourism is becoming more and more popular for a number of procedures, including cosmetic surgery and dentistry. In the US, patients are choosing to travel south of the border to Mexico, while Eastern Europe is the destination of choice for many in the UK. Be careful, if you decide to take this course of action, that the surgery and dentist you decide to use have the proper qualifications and that they speak English. If you have problems communicating, you might end up with ineffective treatment.
Try a dental cash plan
Dental cash plans are a simple form of insurance, although if the treatment you require is very expensive, you could still end up being left to foot the bill. The idea is that you pay an agreed sum of money every week or month into a fund, which can then be used if you need dental treatment in the future. Unlike insurance, the dental cash plan will only offer you the money you have already put in; so it’s more of a savings account that can only be spent on dentistry than something which will save you money. However, it will make it easier for you to cope with the financial demands of a big dentist bill.
Take out insurance
Dental insurance is one of the most popular types of health insurance taken out in the UK. People with dental insurance can be treated by private or NHS dentists; if they can find an NHS dentist who is willing to take on patients! The price of their premium will depend on many factors; whether you are registered with a private or NHS clinic, the current state of your teeth and even what job you do, as some are more likely to result in dental injuries. Dental insurance will not pay for cosmetic treatments, like veneers or teeth whitening, but if your dentist says that you need braces to correct your smile for health reasons, then your premium may be able to help you out.