Healthy teeth and mouth are critical to our well-being, so why is it we spend so little time on our oral healthcare compared to the rest of our body? Think of it – the first contact anything we eat has with our body is our teeth and tongue. The older we get, the less sensitive our tongue becomes, the dryer our mouth, and the faster plaque and tartar build up. Our smile is also a major factor in a first impression – and what do people see when we smile?
Just like the rest of our bodies, the simplest approach to good health is preventive measures. Getting our teeth cleaned twice a year is so worth it. Not only is the cost a great value compared to dental procedures, it serves as a dental checkup, much like an annual physical. The average cleaning costs around $75 without insurance. Not a bad investment, really; but sometimes even this is out of reach.
When the economy dropped through the basement, and I lost my job, I spoke to my dentist’s accountant about discounts, and I was able to save $35 on teeth cleaning. She also recommended 0% financing on any procedures I needed, and the use of coupons for future X-Rays – yep, my dentist issues coupons in some of the community money saver packets. I went with the cleaning discount and the X-Ray coupon, but I’m looking for a good dental plan to manage anything more complicated than a teeth cleaning.
One approach I like is to use my university dental college. When I was younger and just making ends meet, I contacted my state university’s dental college. Like many colleges, they have community outreach programs, and I was able to get a much needed crown for a huge discount. I still have that crown after 30 years – most dentists today are quite impressed with the workmanship, and there are no signs of needing a replacement to this day. I think I’ll give them a call.
There are web sites out there to help me find a good dental plan when I’m ready. Of course, during open enrollment, I may be able to find a dental plan on my state’s healthcare.gov site. But I want a plan now, so I’ll visit a few of the clearing house type sites to find a few to review. I listed some of these links in the ‘links’ section below for your consideration.
As always, I asked my dentist what health plans they accept, and what they found to be the best plans. Keep in mind, they probably like plans that reimburse more, but cost me more as well, but they will be able to advise you. In the end, I am responsible for the choice I make. I must compare plans and costs based on what I can afford and my dental health.
The American Dental Association is a great place to get information about a ‘healthy mouth’ as well as how to find a dentist.
Have a great day!