Welcome back for this week’s installment on the topic of the cost of dental visits. Last week, we talked about how the expense of dental visits is truly scary to the average family. We cited some statistics about the percentages of Americans who have dental issues that have left those issues untreated, both for those with dental insurance and for those without it. We began to talk about some ways to help take the bite out of that trip to the dentist (pun intended). This week we will continue to discuss some other suggestions that you might wish to consider to help with the cost of dental visits.
Do you schedule regular visits to your dentist?
If you’re like me, your dentist wants to schedule teeth cleanings twice a year. But, research is showing that annual cleanings for most average patients could be every bit as effective as the twice a year visits that most of us have been encouraged to do for most of our lives. The research doesn’t support notable benefits between twice a year cleanings and once a year cleanings but the it DOES support having that annual exam and cleaning regularly. This annual cleaning visit is vital to your continued good oral health as it allows your dental professional the opportunity to evaluate and assess the oral tissues and identify any problems before they become serious issues. However, if you already have periodontal disease, it will be in your best interests to visit your dental professional more often.
How about discounts and negotiating your fees?
Have you ever questioned your dental professional about possible discounts for the services they provide or recommend that you have? This negotiation process may be more successful that you may think as many dental practices would prefer to accept a discounted charge from a cash-paying patient in lieu of the extra work and manpower required to file through an insurance company for the higher fees. You could even ask for the same rates that they charge insurance companies if you don’t have insurance. These rates could represent a 10% to 15% discount. It certainly seems to me to be worth a try.
Do you have access to a Health Savings Account?
This particular option provides cash for those routine medical expenses of all types that you expect to need during the year. The amount you save can actually be more than you expect to need so you are covered for unexpected expenses. The funds in these accounts are set aside in an nontaxable account that is designated specifically for medical and dental expenses and they are frequently utilized for high deductible insurance plans.
This HSA option is a pretty broad and encompassing option that deserves more discussion. Next week, we will expand upon HSA option to help you understand how it can help you in multiple ways. In the meantime, don’t neglect your oral health. Your Periodontist on Long Island can help to identify and treat gum disease in any member of your family. Call Dr. Scharf at (631)661-6633 of visit him at http://drscharf.com and let him tell you how he can treat gum and periodontal disease with a laser instead of a scalpel.