If you are part of the third of Americans without dental insurance, you're probably feeling the pressure to get it. As a member of the uninsured dental club, myself, I know a minor toothache can be frightening. Still, I justify continuing without insurance by tell myself that if my ancestors survived for thousands of years without dentists, I should be able to get by without them too? But in truth, there was no such thing as preservatives or high fructose corn syrup hundreds of years ago. The kind of full mouth rehabilitation we have available today was just out of the question. Food quality was more organic and more suited to maintaining good health.
So in today's world, do you really need dental insurance or will you survive ok without it. Here are a few ideas about how to answer that question yourself.
In the best case scenario, you are good friends with a dentist. He loves to answer casual questions about good dental habits and your concerns like whether or not you should worry about that tingling in your tooth when you eat ice cream.
If you have serious dental problems and have valuable professional skills, you might be able to work out a trade. This works best with new dentists. They are more concerned with getting people in the door and will entertain almost any offer. For example, if you are a tax accountant, offer to do his taxes for two or three cleanings. This happens more than you might think and is a great way for people to get dental care without having to dish out the cash.
If you don't know a dentist or are unable to find a new dentist to bargain with, you should at least keep up on your cleanings. The out of pocket cost for the recommended two cleanings per year might actually be cheaper than the cost of dental insurance for the same time period. Low cost solutions are available and are worth it. The best plan is to shop around. Don't be afraid to call dental offices and ask for their prices. Some may be willing to price match. Being from Florida, I expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $200 for a cleaning from a dentist in Orlando.
Remember, you are not alone being uninsured. You can still keep your teeth healthy without going into debt by always looking out for opportunities to get low cost dental care.
Dr. Elena Puig
Dynamic Smile Design
1600 Hillcrest St
Orlando, FL 32803
PH: (407) 895-5600