Have your teeth seen better days? Do you need to go to a general dentist, to have some work done, but holiday shopping has left your wallet feeling too light? Although important to your health, dental work can sometimes seem out of reach due to financial concerns. Fortunately, not every visit to the dentist has to result in spending a fortune. Here are some tips on how to save money on dental visits:
Get work done at a dental school: In order to graduate, final year students at a dental school or college are expected to work on the teeth of actual patients. This work is supervised by a teacher or other general dentist who has already graduated. Because the work is being done by a student and not a professional dentist, you can often get deep discounts on whatever you have done. While you might not feel comfortable having an amateur do major work on your teeth, this can still be a great way for you to save money on cleanings and maybe a filling or two. For root canals and other similar work, you may want to continue to use the services of your regular, more experienced, dentist.
Ask for a payment plan: Most of the time, a general dentist understands that you can't afford to pay for a bunch of work at once. As a result, they'll often work with you to establish a payment plan that will fit within your budget. Some dentists may want a partial payment up front before beginning any large undertaking, such as the making of dentures, but will be willing to set up a payment schedule that ensures that you'll be able to have the work done and still be able to pay for it.
Look for a dental discount plan: A dental discount plan is not insurance. Unlike insurance, there is no limit to the amount of work that you can have done in a year and there is usually no waiting period before you can visit the dentist. Not every general dentist accepts every dental discount plan, however, so make sure to purchase a plan that is accepted by the dentist that you want. For a small monthly fee, a discount plan will give you access to substantial discounts on many or all types of dental work. Depending on the plan, the discounts given may make the cost of visiting your regular dentist to be even less than the cost of visiting a dental school.