Apart from your local dentist office, there are approximately 100,000 practicing dentists currently in the United States. However, half of Americans (50%) claim that they can’t go to any of these dentists because they can’t comfortably afford dental insurance.
Did you know that 16 million low income children don’t see dentists each year? Since tooth decay is the most common chronic illness in children, each of them is at risk of needing dentures by the time they reach adulthood. Even if they do manage to have some work done, without professional upkeep, the aid will go to waste. For example, an average sealant in the United States only lasts between five to 10 years.
Although some services offered by your local dentist office are affordable, such as the typical silver filling that costs anywhere between $50 to $150, most services are not. Walecia Konrad, writing for the New York Times, reports that “For most people, a toothache that turns into an expensive procedure like a crown or implant means thousands of dollars out of pocket. Routine checkups, cleanings and fillings can set you back hundreds.”
There are some alternatives and solutions to the question of affordable care from your local dentist office. One way around a lack of dental insurance could be to find dentist offices that accept medicaid. Should you not find a dentist office that does, or perhaps you don’t have medicaid, you can keep trips to your local dentist office to a minimum cost with constant upkeep. Konrad warns, “Taking care of small problems keeps them from becoming big ones. Enough cannot be said about prevention. … Left unchecked, a small cavity that would cost about $100 to fill can easily turn into a $1,000 root canal. Skip those $80 cleanings each year, and you may be looking at $2,000 worth of gum disease treatments.”
Making the biannual trips to your local dentist office for a proper cleaning can help keep the big costs down, even without dental insurance. You can find out about payment options by reading dental office websites. If you have any questions your local dentist office, feel free to ask in the comments.