With increases in the cost of living and constant hikes in health insurance premiums, many people have been considering to opt-out of extras health insurance. Often one of the questions we get asked at the dental clinic is, how can I budget for dental treatment when I don’t have insurance? Sometimes people mistakenly think by avoiding going to the dentist they can minimize this cost. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth, by delaying the diagnosis or treatment of dental disease, one could be facing much more complicated and costly procedures in the future, or worse still, premature loss of the dentition. So what can be done to keep the dental cost down?
Most dental diseases are preventable. A combination of good diet, with consistent oral hygiene practices, would mean most people can prevent cavities and/or gum disease. Sugary drinks, sweets and lollies need to be avoided, daily brushing and flossing once a day at night. At your next check-up, ask the dentist about what you can do to improve your oral hygiene: are you brushing or flossing correctly? If not, where are the areas that need more work? Also consider preventative measures such as the use of tooth mousse or a fluoride product.
A regular dental check-up and clean is needed to detect problems when they first occur so that most conditions can be treated at an early stage with minimal cost. Many times patients have presented with a painful tooth when they had noticed a black spot or chip many months ago, but elected to seek help only when the pain started. By this time, usually, the cavity is very deep and close to the nerve of the tooth, meaning a simple filling would no longer suffice. Often, more costly procedures such as a root canal treatment may be indicated.
Be frank with your dental professional about your concerns regarding the cost of the proposed treatment. With any major work, a quote should be given. At Caulfield South Dental Surgery, we are very happy to go over the treatment plan with you. In many cases, treatment could be staged, the most urgent teeth needing attention would be pointed out to you, and appointments made accordingly. This way, you can budget and divide the cost over a longer period of time without neglecting potential problems.