Dental care doesn’t come cheap especially if you need significant work done to get them back in shape. While preventative care has its own costs, maintenance and emergency care can cost you a small fortune. Let’s take a look at seven ways you can reduce your dental costs:

Dental Insurance – Companies who offer health insurance usually offer dental insurance too. Take advantage of the plan for a nominal contribution on your part in the form of a payroll deduction. Some plans are better than others, encouraging you to use “in network” dentists who can do the work at a fixed cost, saving you money.

Clinic Care – If you don’t have dental insurance or can’t afford coverage, some health clinics provide dental care on a sliding scale. You pay what you can afford which means that expensive bridge work can be had for a fraction of the price.

Dental Schools – Students studying for their dental license need to work on real patients. With an instructor standing nearby, a qualified budding dentist could clean your teeth or fill cavities for just a few dollars. Check with your local dental school to learn when they’re seeing patients.

Travel Overseas – Dental care in America is so expensive, but in some developing countries including Mexico and India you can have the same work done for a fraction of the price. Consider taking a vacation to an exotic destination and using local dental services while there. Of course, you’ll need to make those arrangements before you leave, but it is an option worth exploring.

Negotiate Rates – Some dentists are willing to negotiate their rates especially if you don’t have coverage. Dentists want their patients to be in good health and will sometimes cut you a break based on your ability to pay.

Make Payments – Expensive dental work such as crowns can be more than what you can handle financially. But, there are companies who provide low interest rate loans to qualified borrowers which can spread your costs out over several months, even years. This option is especially helpful for teens who need expensive orthodontist work completed.

Consider Bartering – In some locales, your dentist may be willing to exchange services with you. The dentist may agree to maintain your teeth, while you promise to provide lawn service, office cleaning, plumbing work, etc.

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