Affordable Dental Insurance For Individuals

Affordable Dental Insurance For Individuals – Have you been avoiding the dentist – despite the creeping pain in your tooth – due to financial fear? Fortunately, there are two pieces of good news for you today: one, you’re not alone! Second, you have more options than you realize.

You will find no shame here. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that 27% of American adults have untreated tooth decay. (1) In fact, a recent statistic published by the Center for Disease Control found that 36%—over a third—of all Americans have not visited a dentist in the past year. (2)

Affordable Dental Insurance For Individuals

My mission is to give you the opportunity to get great dental care, even without dental insurance. And before you pay exorbitant fees, check out my guide to make sure you’re not being overcharged or ripped off by fraudulent diagnoses.

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It is not unusual to be concerned about the affordability of a dental plan. That’s why I put together these seven options to help you make the best and most appropriate choice while receiving affordable dental care.

While it may be tempting to put these ideas on the backburner, unfortunately, skipping dental appointments due to no dental insurance will cost you a lot more money. With your future in mind, read on to save in the long run.

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I’ve found that many people scoff at this suggestion, and it’s not unusual to be concerned about the thought of a student poking around near your sensitive teeth.

Using a dental school may sound worrisome, but the process is subject to strict oversight and clear procedures. Licensed professors oversee every step of dental work performed at their school, making suggestions and stepping in when needed.

Many charities, faith-based organizations, the United Way, and health centers support free or discounted dental clinics for those without dental insurance. These will work with you to determine what you can pay based on your income and typically have excellent dentists donating their time.

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Try one of these databases to find a sliding scale or free clinic near you! These organizations would like to help you if you have a need but no dental insurance:

I often tell my patients that dental insurance isn’t real insurance, it’s just a benefit. There are so many conditions, and your maximum coverage is often capped at $2,000—not a helpful number for patients who need multiple major procedures.

What’s with the quirky name? Well, in a margarita fund, I suggest you set aside $100-$150 per month to visit your favorite dentist. If after a checkup you don’t end up needing expensive dental services, you can go out and buy margaritas (or a nice dinner with loved ones).

Even if you need to use your margarita fund, you can visit the dentist more often with the confidence that you have what you need to cover the cost. For those without dental insurance, this fund can take a bite out of unexpected expenses.

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If you have Medicaid or your children have qualified for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, you may qualify for more dental benefits and insurance coverage than you think. Each state has its own dental plan under Medicaid, so click here to find your potential dental plan.

Doctors and researchers have referred to childhood tooth decay as the silent epidemic because of its rampant prevalence in low-income families worried about dental costs.

The good news is that the last 10 years have dramatically increased children’s access to dental care for both preventive care and procedures. (3)

If you or your child has Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, look into what’s already offered. You may be pleasantly surprised.

How Dental Differs From Medical

I recently received an email question from a reader without dental insurance who couldn’t swing the cost of a cleaning, exam and x-ray. If I were her dentist, I would have seen her most recent x-rays and, based on a thorough clinical examination, made a “threat assessment” for potential decay.

I would also have taken new x-rays and not done the cleaning. This combination would cost essentially the same as the cleaning and exam combination.

There are always options and ways to adapt your dental care to your situation. By reading this article, you are one step closer to becoming an informed patient!

Don’t be afraid to look at the costs, consult your dentist, ask questions and choose what suits your needs and the best price.

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One final note: lack of cleaning pales in comparison to missing a deep cavity that will damage the tooth irreversibly.

Gingivitis, prevented by cleaning, is reversible. Deep cavities and root canals, prevented by examinations and X-rays, are not. Instead of risking a bigger bill later, feel free to mix and match which options work best for you.

Not comfortable with a clinic, a dental school or missing a cleaning? More than 200,000 dentists now work with CareCredit, a service that allows you to pay for your dental work in installments. They even offer an interest-free incentive in some circumstances. Learn more and find partner dentists on their website.

Just because you don’t have dental insurance doesn’t mean you have to fork over steep cash upfront. This is an especially good option if you are looking for something that is considered more in the cosmetic dentistry field, such as veneers.

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Close your eyes and dream of a world where you could find prices before, and not after, you went to the dentist. What if you could even provide your budget and be matched with a dentist that matches your needs?

Thanks to a company called Smylen, that dream is coming true. Currently located in NYC and expanding to cities around the country this summer, they exist to help you connect with the dentist you need at a price you can afford. These professionals are happy to help even when you have no dental insurance.

As a gift from me to you, enter the coupon code “ASKDENTIST” for $10 off the work you offer when you are matched with a dentist through Smylen. If this option exists in your area, it’s a great way to be placed with a dentist who really works with you.

Every 15 seconds, someone visits the emergency room for dental pain, with millions of visits each year and about $2 billion spent annually. (4) Unfortunately, when patients wait until this point to seek treatment, costs can skyrocket from one of the more budget-friendly options listed above.

Why Dental Insurance Matters

If you are considering a trip to the emergency room, know that an emergency dentist is typically defined by: (5)

Patients from lower income groups were found to be four times more likely to visit the emergency room than higher income patients. (6) Obviously, cost is a factor in waiting until your problem is serious enough to seek treatment, but the worst part is that many of these bills could have been lower.

To avoid finding yourself in this demographic where emergency visitors pay high prices, here’s a simple tip: don’t ignore dental pain. Treating minor pain now can mean avoiding big bills later.

When you first feel pain in a tooth (or a few), it is possible that you can get fillings to catch the problem. I repeat, do not ignore the pain. Waiting until the pain increases can mean a myriad of costs such as a root canal, an extraction or purchasing an implant down the road.

Need A Dentist? Best Dental Insurance In 2023

Dental insurance is really just insuring your preventative care and minor repairs – the cap on what the insurance company will pay almost always excludes the cost of needed work.

Americans are four times less likely to have dental insurance than health insurance. (7) Health insurance is designed to limit what the insured will pay, while dental insurance is designed to limit what the company will pay. That’s quite a difference.

I like to say that health insurance and dental insurance are opposites. The aforementioned treatment options, or offers to pay cash for discount plans, can offset the cost difference for those without dental insurance.

Therefore, seeing your dentist every 6 months for regular appointments will save you thousands in the future. The upfront costs of consistent cleanings and exams are worth the root canals, implants, and even dentures that you would pay for in the aftermath of avoiding care.

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Not only is preventative care a huge cost saver, but ignoring your oral health can have some serious consequences.

As the US Surgeon General said in his 2000 final report: “You cannot be healthy without oral health. Oral health and general health should not be interpreted as separate entities.” (9)

Leaving your dental problems unchecked can lead to more systemic problems over time such as diabetes, heart problems, respiratory infections and more.

Another method of preventive care is to treat your oral health from the inside out. Are you aware that you can actually reverse small cavities over time by remineralizing your teeth?

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