Welcome back! I am so glad you came back this week. As you may recall, we have been talking about some of the reasons why people don’t go to the dentist as regularly as they should for routine checkups and how some of these reasons actually result in some serious gum disease with ensuing damage to their oral tissues. We have talked about the fact that even among American having dental insurance, there are still approximately 57% who leave a dental problem untreated due to cost issues. And, we all know that percentage is even higher among those who do not have dental insurance. Over the past two weeks, we have been talking about some ways to make those trips to the dentist more affordable and the option of a Health Savings Account was the last item on our list in last week’s article. This week, I want to revisit that option because I believe that it deserves more time and space dedicated to it. Lets talk more about health savings accounts and how you can benefit from them in regard to the cost of dental visits.
Health Savings Accounts
Last week we talked about how these accounts allow we consumers the opportunity to set aside money on a regular basis to be used for medical and dental expenses throughout the year. This is a non-taxable account that allows you to put money into it on a monthly basis or whatever frequency works for you and you then can draw from it for those expenses for which you had planned and anticipated. How can you plan for these expenses, you ask? Well, just stop and think about how often you and other members of your family see your various medical professionals. The kids may need sports physicals, or various vaccinations or that annual trip to the dentist for a routine oral cleaning. If you or your spouse have any health issues that need regular and routine follow up, you will need to include those planned visits in your medical dollar estimates. And, be sure to include gynecological visits, too. Once you have calculated the approximate costs of the regular things, then you can add in a little extra for the unplanned expenses that are bound to come up. The important thing in this is to be practical in your estimates and set the money aside regularly so that it is available when you need it. You may still encounter some expenses not planned or thought of, but careful planning and budgeting will allow some of the money to be there when you need it as opposed to having to come up with all of the unexpected expense without having any prepared backup of any kind.
Have You Considered a Dental School for Treatments?
This is an option that most of us only think about when we want a cheap haircut or nail treatment. There are cosmetology schools locally that can provide their services much less expensively because they are utilizing students who need on-the-job training while they earn their degrees. Dental schools work similarly. The students in both situations are under the supervision of a licensed professional who oversees everything they do. You can help give practical experience to a dental student while you save money on some of those dental services. Sounds like a win-win situation to me!
Medical expenses can cripple a family budget quickly and most of us live from paycheck to paycheck. A little planning and disciplined saving can help to ease some of the stress involved in those unexpected dental costs. Consider the options given in this article series and choose the best one(s) for you and your family. In the meantime, keep Dr. Scharf in mind. Your Periodontist on Long Island can treat gum disease with a laser instead of a scalpel. Call him at (631)661-6633 or pay him a visit at http://drscharf.com. You’ll be glad you did!