Tips For Affordable Dental Care For Children, Students, Families & Seniors

Staying current with dental care cleanings and treatments is important – regardless of your age.

In today’s economy, however, some look at preventive dental care treatments as an extra cost that can be cut. Unfortunately, doing this tends to only lead to more painful situations – for both your teeth and your pocket book.

First, we’ll explore the challenges of paying for dental care for each age group, including children, students, newlyweds and seniors. Then, we’ll provide a solution that can help make dental care more affordable at any age.

Dental Care Budgeting Challenges for Each Age Group

Children from Kindergarten to 12th Grade

For families on limited budgets, or families just temporarily hurting from the tough economy, preventive visits to the dentist may get lost in the budget cuts.

This is unfortunate, because dental disease currently accounts for 51 million lost school hours per year, and it is preventable in most cases.

Many parents share the misconception that dental care can be postponed until their children’s baby teeth are replaced by adult teeth. But on the contrary, dental health issues from childhood often transfer to adult teeth.

A simple way to reduce the chances of lifetime dental health issues for your children is to take them to the dentist twice a year for preventive checkups and cleanings – in order to catch and fix problems in early stages.

College Students

While many students operate on a shoe-string budget during these years, it’s still important to keep dental care cleanings and treatments current.

Doing this, however, becomes trickier as access to family dental insurance plans waivers based on age and student status limitations.

In situations where students do not have dental insurance, it’s easy to see treatments and checkups as auxiliary costs that can be temporarily dropped. With an already limited budget and no assistance with dental care costs, a root canal or other major dental procedure can become a very painful and expensive experience for a college student.

Just Married

For those who get married in their 20s or 30s, other major purchases may take away from the health care budget.

Buying a house, getting a new car or even making room in the budget for future additions to the family make it tempting to lengthen the time between dental checkups and cleanings.

However, just as with other age groups, postponing preventive checkups and cleanings can lead to much bigger problems down the road – especially when the dental care budget has already been reallocated for other expenses.

Golden Years

Many seniors find themselves on a fixed income and unfortunately, with age, the risk for dental problems increases.

A study conducted in New York showed that among seniors, 15% listed cost as the main barrier to accessing the dental care they need. For the other 85%, transportation was the leading barrier, which in many cases may tie indirectly to financial problems.

Seniors have a 300% greater chance to develop cavities than children and about 30% of all seniors lose their natural teeth. With statistics like these, it is easy to see why it’s so important for seniors to maintain regular dental checkups and cleanings.

A Dental Care Solution for Any Age Group

All too often, when people of any age group find themselves lacking either medical or dental insurance, they go into “wait until something happens” mode. And this can be a very costly mistake.

How to Get Free Dental Care in the Texas State

Today a lot of people never get dental insurance included in their medical insurance policy. In fact a long time back, the thousand dollars of dental fees were not even covered by insurance policies. Nothing seems to have changed in fact the costs involved in dental treatments have now doubled or tripled than before. Now, even if insurance covers dental treatment costs only a small number of people are actually able to afford it. Due to this reason a lot of people have opted for tooth extraction as an alternative of paying for dental care. Many of them even avoid getting dental care treatments on time due to the expenses involved. Tooth decay and gum disease are the common risks involved if oral care is avoided long enough.

Out of all the 50 states in the U.S., according to the Texas Senator Eliot Shapleigh only a minimal number of residents in Texas have overall health insurance and therefore it ranks last in this regard. Free dental care has become a need all over the country and especially in Texas, so now a lot of organizations have started to put an effort to offer free dental services and there are now several places where people can go, to avail free oral care.

If you are in need of free dental treatment you can start by contacting the Texas Dental Association Smiles Foundation. Every year these dental care opportunities are provided by the licensed dentists at this organization for those who are in need of immediate dental care. The Texas Mission of Mercy is a large event which is held every year for two days in variety of cities all across the state. Here hundreds of people are able to receive free dental care from the volunteering dentists. They even offer free dental services on the go by travelling into communities in mobile vans known as ‘Smiles on Wheels’.

A second alternative to receive such schemed care is by applying at a Hill-Burton Facility for free dental care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources runs the Hill-Burton program, where qualified people are allowed to avail free or low-cost dental and medical care. To be eligible the income level of each patient should meet the current HHR Poverty Guidelines. All you need to do is to go to a facility near you where a Hill-Burton obligated facility is accepted and apply for the free treatment and care. In Texas there are now 11 Hill-Burton facilities and by visiting the HHR website you can find more information about them.

Lastly searching online for a free or low-cost dental clinic will also help you to receive free oral care. To find the right program and service all you need to do is type the term ‘free dental care’ into a search engine with the city closest to you. You can find a comprehensive list of free and low-cost medical and dental care services listed by state and city at Free Dental Work.org.

Dental Care Services and Plans

Many people usually neglect issues related to dental care such as taking good care of their gums, teeth etc. Dental care also involves treatment and prevention of diseases of the teeth and gums apart from the repair and replacement of defective teeth.

Gone are those days when dental services used to be an expensive option. Let us have a look at a few tips on how to find affordable dental care services:

1. Start by simply inquiring about a good dental plan from your co-workers, friends and relatives. Ask questions such as whether emergency service is provided, how easy it is to get an appointment, how much it costs, the different types of dental services and so on. Also inquire about whether the atmosphere of the dental care facility is reassuring and relaxing, behavior of the staff especially towards children etc.

2. Dental services are also provided at local dental schools at affordable and competitive rates. Some of these schools might offer to check and clean your teeth for free of cost. It should not be a problem to find a list of such schools in and around your area through internet.

3. In case you are new to an area, try checking out the services of the dental specialist who provides his/her services to the local hospitals. You can also search for the best dental care facilities in your area online. You can also use your insurance company’s website to search for dentists who would accept your insurance cover.

Following are the two most popular dental plan options:

1. Dental Insurance:
One of the options for oral health care is dental insurance. Apart from a few dental insurance policies which might cost less than $10 on a monthly basis, most of the available options would be expensive. It is essential on your part to read the entire terms and conditions, excluded procedures and items, what the policy covers, the annual cost for both family and individual policies which ever applies to you.

Most of the people going for such policies do not know that pre-existing conditions are not covered by such policies. Even after the completion of 1 year, most companies pay progressively, such as covering 15% the 2nd year, 30% the 3rd year and so on. Thus, such kinds of dental insurance are usually not recommended by agents currently because of their lack of coverage and high cost.

2. Discount Dental Plans:
Pre-existing plans are not restricted in case of discounted dental care plans. Substantial discounts are offered by such plans on routine dental care like braces, dentures, root canals, X-rays, cleanings, check-ups and more. The membership fees of such dental care plans usually average around $150 for families and $100 for individuals annually. At the time of your appointment, you need to pay for your visit in full.

No permission of any sort is required in case you want to change your dentist. Within the network of the plan, you can visit any provider in any state. It is to be noted that large discount dental plan networks have providers in excess of over 0.1 million dental specialists and dentists worldwide.

You might be surprised to know that over 70% of the families residing in United States do not have any dental plan. Thus, it is important for you to realize that proper dental care is essential for the wellbeing of your entire body.

Tips to Lower Your Pricey Dental Care Cost

Getting cosmetic dentistry and dental treatment in several parts of the world, specifically in wealthy countries of the developed world, can be extremely expensive, regardless of whether you have access to any form of dental coverage.

In a survey (1999-2004), it has been revealed by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) that 3.75% of adults between the age of 20 and 64 have no remaining teeth. As of 2010, nearly 45 million Americans lacked dental insurance, according to the US federal agency CDC’s statistics.

Many middle-income and uninsured people avoid their dentist appointments due to high costs than pain. But delaying needed dental treatment or check up can put them at an increased risk of facing costlier and more extensive dental work in the long run. Understandably, the oral and dental problems can worsen an individual’s oral health if not attended to immediately.

If you are in need of any kind of dental treatment or surgery but are scared of the heavy dentist bill, by following some useful tips you can save money on your dental care.

Mentioned below are some useful tips to lower the costs of dental treatments for insured and uninsured alike.

Dental Tourism
Dental care could be highly cost prohibitive in several wealthy countries like US, Canada, Australia, the UK and other EU countries.

Compared to the US and European countries, all common dental makeover procedures including veneers, tooth colored fillings, bleaching as well as more complex treatments including orthodontic or surgical treatments like dental implant, bridges, crowns, sealants and tooth bonding can be found at surprisingly lower costs in developing and some newly industrialized countries like India, Thailand, Mexico, Costa Rica, Hungary and Belgium, due to the lower living costs and labor wages.

So, instead of delaying your medically necessary dental treatment you can look for inexpensive alternatives in any cheaper country of your choice.

Say No to Frequent X-rays
Your dentist might suggest dental x-ray during your first visit, a scheduled checkup, or a return for treatment. But the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that the frequency of trips to the dentist’s X-ray chair should be determined by the current condition of a patient’s dental health.

So, if you have good oral health, it is just not necessary to have dental x-rays taken every time you visit the dentist. Having teeth x-rayed less frequently can not only save you substantial amount of money but also keep you from potentially harmful radiation exposure from dental X-rays.

Use Negotiation
Another way to keep your dental treatment cost down is to talk to your dental surgeon about payment options during the initial consultation. After having clear understanding of what will and will not be included in the dentist bill you may ask for discount on the dental bill. Your dental care provider and facility may offer you a variety of payment options. Don’t be afraid of asking to pay your dentistry expenses on monthly or quarterly basis.

Barter
It may sound crazy, but you can get free dentistry through the bartering system. Patients with different skills and professional services like carpentry or web design can trade their services for the dental treatment. For example, one can create a Web site for your dentist or offer plumbing, mechanic or any other service in exchange to the dental care costs.

Seek Out Dentistry in a Dental School
To super-size your dental care savings, consider having your dental work done at a dental school, where the dental procedures will be performed by students under the supervision of the qualified and skilled dentists at a fraction of what you would pay in a private care center.

Brush and Floss Everyday
Most importantly, if you really want to save money you need to take very good care of your oral health. Brush your teeth twice a day or after every meal and floss at least once daily to ward off your risk of oral problems. Cut down on your sugary intake in order to reduce your dental problems, thus your time in the dentist’s chair.

Popular Hotspots for Dental Care and Implants

If you or someone you know is missing one or more teeth or suffering from severe tooth decay then dental implants may be an excellent solution. All those people who are unhappy with the appearance of their teeth can bring back their teeth in tip-top shape through implant dentistry.

Yet, the major drawback of considering cosmetic dental care and surgery for most people from the US, the UK and Australia is their cost. The dental treatment cost in the First World countries can be extremely daunting for many patients in need of it.

Luckily, one can find very affordable dental care somewhere else in the world. People who are completely ready to undertake the dental implant procedure can save up to 80% on their treatment simply by opting to receive implants in any dental tourism destination.

Some popular countries for overseas dental implants include Poland, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Costa Rica, India, Thailand to name a few.

Poland

Poland, one of the most advanced countries in Europe, is now one of the most preferred destinations for affordable dental care. The ultra modern private Polish hospitals and clinics equipped with state of the art technology and infrastructure play an important role in Polish dental tourism boom, by attracting thousands of dental tourists, mainly from the UK, every year.

Cosmetic dental procedures including implants are quite cheaper in this central European country, saving UK patients at least 81% on the cost of their treatment.

Hungary

Seeking dental implants or other dental services in Hungary is a good alternative for people living in countries where dental treatments do not come cheap. Situated in the centre of Eastern Europe, the country takes pride in having the advanced private hospitals with modern x-ray machines, lasers, video cameras, dental tools and surgical techniques. These medical facilities offer competent dental services at reasonable prices to their local and foreign clients. By having the dental abnormalities fixed in Hungary, a patient can expect to at least 50% on the procedure even after including all other expenses.

Italy

Travelling to Italy for dental care may seem like a far out option for American and many Asian denizens but with the significant savings they make on the cost of their dental treatments overseas patients feel completely satisfied. Dental care cost in Italy can be as low as 70% of private dental prices in the US. Given the affordability of the dental procedures, standard of infrastructure and the skills of the surgeons in Italy it’s not a surprise that different patients from different countries are increasingly flocking to this country with their dental and other healthcare needs.

India

India is the destination of choice for anyone seeking first world quality treatment at third world prices. If you require expensive dental work such as bridges, crowns, implants or an orthodontic procedure, you can make considerable savings by going abroad to India. Medical tourists from all across the world, prompted by sky-scraping dentistry costs and dwindling insurance benefits at their native countries, make a beeline in this Southeast Asian country for various dental procedures. Top notch private dental clinic in India use latest generation techniques to perform oral surgery.

Mexico

This country shares its borders with the United States so it is the perfect option for those from the US. Opting for dental implants in Mexico can save American patients up to 66%. Not only US citizens even patients from far away countries can expect huge savings on their dental treatment. Private Mexican clinics are staffed with qualified and skilled general dentist, periodontists and oral surgeons with advanced training in implant surgery. Not only the dentistry is affordable, the quality of dental care in Mexico is also superior, a major factor that attracts many overseas patients.