Health insurance is a hot topic today, and although dental insurance doesn’t get quite as much attention, the lack of coverage in the U.S is a major concern. Poor oral health can have a drastic impact on a person’s overall health.
Dental insurance for children is covered under the Affordable Care Act, but it is not mandatory for adults. Medicare doesn’t cover most dental care (including cleanings, filings, dentures, etc.). For a variety of reasons, whether unemployed, self-employed or retired, over a third of Americans are currently without dental insurance.
Not surprisingly, those without coverage often skip routine preventative dental visits such as cleanings. They want to save money in the short term, but this lack of dental care can lead to more problems and greater expense down the line. For example, a small cavity caught early may be easily fixed with a filling. However, if ignored the plaque and tartar may build up, causing major problems such as gingivitis or periodontal disease.
So What Are My Options if I Don’t Have Dental Insurance?
The worse thing to do is put off going to the dentist. Fortunately, there are options available:
Ask Your Dentist About a Payment Plan – Many dentists are willing to work with you to set up a payment plan for treatments. Others offer a sliding scale for treatments or discounts for certain services. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Financing Options – Many dentists, including as America’s Family Dental, accept Care Credit, a healthcare credit card that allows you to receive treatments and pay in monthly installments.
Dental School – If there is a dental school in your area they may offer free or discounted rates for routine services, performed under guidance of licensed professionals.
Nonprofit Organizations – There are several nonprofit organizations that work to provide access to healthcare for those that don’t have insurance or the resources to pay for it. Mission of Mercy is one example that operates in Texas.
Health Savings Account – A health savings account allows you to pay for dental services with pre-tax dollars.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene – Everyone should practice consistent, regular oral hygiene, put it’s particularly important for those without dental coverage. Regular brushing and flossing, as well as avoiding sugary foods and drinks, can help you maintain a healthy smile longer and prevent future problems and expenses.
If you do not currently have dental insurance, please don’t let that stop you for taking proper care of your teeth. America’s Family Dental can discuss options and work with you to determine the best treatment and payment plan for you. Contact us today.