Choices to “Ease the Pain” of Dental Treatment Costs
Avoiding dental issues can be risky to your overall physical health and can even lead to, not only higher dental costs, but overall medical costs as well. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to dental insurance that provides for routine and unexpected dental expenses. And, dental emergencies? They never come at a convenient time, like when you’re NOT busy or have a plentiful cash resource. Emergency treatment is only covered at a fixed percentage, leaving you with additional unplanned payments.
An article titled “Oral Health in America: A report of the Surgeon General,” stated “The condition of the mouth mirrors the condition of the rest of the body.” The article further stated, “Poor oral health and untreated oral diseases can have a significant impact on the quality of life.”
Untreated oral disease affects your health and wellbeing and can contribute to the onset of health issues such as cardiovascular (heart) disease, diabetes or complications of diabetes, respiratory infections, and even dementia, just to name a few. Bacteria from infected teeth and gums can enter the bloodstream or be breathed into the lungs over a period of time causing health-related issues. You may not notice it, but what you can’t see may be hurting you.
It is essential that we provide patients with informed health care choices and financial resources to support and guide them through their treatment decisions.
PREVENTION: Benjamin Franklin was noted as saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In other words, it is better to darn that tiny hole now than to fall into it later. A small cavity may only cost around $150.00 to repair, but if left untreated, decay can spread and suddenly you are facing a $1,500.00 root canal followed by a crown or even, loss of the tooth. Be proactive in your self-care and healthcare.
FACE YOUR FEAR: Did you know that up to 20 percent of Americans don’t go to the dentist because of anxiety or fear? Maybe it is chair fear or treatment cost anxiety, but if you don’t know what you are facing, how can you fix it? Make an appointment for a full examination and a customized treatment plan. Be up front with your provider about your concerns. Treatment plans can be divided over a series of appointments, perfect for handling anxiety and cost in smaller increments.
AFFORDABLE DENTAL PLANS: Check with your employer to see if they provide affordable company dental plans and obtain a copy of the benefits and maximums. In addition, there are private dental insurance plans that you can purchase from insurance brokers. They will work with you to provide the most affordable or comprehensive plan to meet your needs.
Dental offices are now providing their own in-house discount plans. Our uninsured patients began asking for financial options and we created our own, Options Dental Assurance Discount Plan.
HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS: Did you know that, in most cases, you can use your health savings account for dental services? Inquire with your human resource personnel to see if you can make additional pre-tax contributions to your HSA and if they allow payment to your dental provider.
Cash, check and all major credit cards are welcome! Care Credit is a flexible finance program designed specifically for your treatment expenses and offers convenient financing: No interest for up to 18 months or low-interest financing from 24 - 48 months. Applying is simple! Go to www.carecredit.com and complete the application for an instant decision response (approvals are based on credit worthiness).
Our own Options Dental Assurance Discount Plan is a discount program designed to meet the financial needs of our patients not covered by traditional dental insurance. We care about your total health and have created a program that gives you financial options to meet your dental needs affordably. Unlike traditional dental plans, there is nowaiting period, no deductible, no insurance filing, and no yearly maximum of benefits.
Membership benefits provide two routine healthy mouth cleanings, exams and routine x-rays, 15 percent off routine basic dental procedures such as diagnostic exams and x-rays and composite restorations, 10 percent off major services such as crowns, bridges, partials, dentures, cosmetic and implant services. Emergency bitewing or periapical x-rays are no charge when between routine visits, with no yearly limit.
Our yearly membership fees are $260 for a single adult, $480 for two adults, or add a dependent child (to age 18) for $210. Membership and benefits begin the day you join and expire exactly one year from that date!