AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

Over 100 million Americans don’t visit the dentist regularly because they cannot afford the treatment, according to the Center for Public Integrity. Another 40 million Americans avoid visiting the dentist because they suffer from some form of dental anxiety, according to studies conducted by the American Dental Association.

Regardless of what category you fall into, America has a growing dental care problem that threatens the health of the nation’s teeth and gums. Tooth decay already ranks as the leading chronic illness among school-aged children, and 25 percent of Medicare beneficiaries have lost all of their teeth.

teeth What To Do When You Don’t Have Dental Insurance

In addition to helping you speak, eat, and smile, strong teeth and gums also play a vital role in helping you maintain the self-confidence needed to excel in both your personal and professional lives. In recent years, a number of studies have also shown clear links between a person’s oral health and the development of a variety of chronic diseases such as diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.

Fortunately, even if you’re one of the millions of Americans without dental insurance who haven’t visited the dentist in years, you still have an opportunity to receive the dental care you need to enjoy strong oral health for a lifetime. While the cost of dental might seem prohibitive, there are some techniques you can use to get the care you require.

To get you back into the dentist’s chair, here are a few tips on how to get the dental care you need without dental insurance.

Shop For the Best Deal

Despite popular perception, the medical field is as highly competitive and cutthroat as most any other service related industry. Unlike physicians who predominantly deal with sick patients, dentists offer a wide range of preventive services designed to keep patients healthy. While medical ethics may prohibit doctors from offering ill patients discounts on services, dentists routinely offer introductory offers on routine exams and x-rays to get new patients through the front door.

If you haven’t been to a dentist in a few years, the only way to determine the current health of your teeth and gums is to schedule a dental checkup. Check online, through Valuepack mailers, and newspaper advertising to find a dentist near you featuring a special offer for your first dental appointment.

An offer for a free dental exam and x-rays with a paid teeth cleaning can save you hundreds of dollars, while also providing you with a good idea of the current state of your dental health. Once you understand the state of your teeth, you might be able to work out a future payment plan.

Inquire About Dental Discount Plans

Considering the overwhelming number of Americans without dental insurance, a large number of dentists have begun to offer patients the option of buying into discount programs to help offset the cost of dental coverage. Unlike dental insurance, patients pay a fix annual fee to enroll in a discount program. Once enrolled, the patient receives a discount on all future dental services.

Dental discount plans offer benefits to both the dentist and patient. The dentist save money on overhead that usually accompanies dealing with insurance companies, while insuring that a patient will continue to visit once they have enrolled in the program. This allows them to pass savings onto the patient, which makes dental care cheaper overall.

Most dental discount plans require patients pay several hundred dollars to enroll, and any high dollar dental procedure can still require a sizeable out-of-pocket expense to pay for. While some limitations do apply, these types of programs can still net significant savings should you need extensive treatment to correct your oral health.

Take Care of Your Teeth

Paying for two dental cleanings a year out-of-pocket may seem costly, but long-term benefits of such treatment far outweighs any cost. Dental care becomes expensive when you need to undergo an expensive dental procedure such as root canal, implant, or treatment for gum disease. In most cases, these oral problems are a direct result of oral hygiene neglect.

By practicing quality oral hygiene at home, you can eliminate the need for most dental procedures other than routine checkups and cleanings. According to the American Dental Association, an ideal oral hygiene routine includes brushing at least twice daily, for two minutes at a time, flossing at least once a day, and using an antibacterial mouthwash.

While genetics may conspire against you, practicing quality oral hygiene ranks as the best and most effective way of avoiding long-term dental care procedures.

About Author : John Nickelbottom is a freelance health writer.
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