by Joshua Allen, DMD, Owner & Dentist, Keep Smiling Family Dentistry
Oral health care is one of the most important but often neglected aspects of family life. It is essential to plan for regular/preventative dental maintenance as well as unexpected oral health issues to avoid financial stress and ensure quality care for your loved ones.
Here are some suggestions on how to budget for dental health care as a family.
JUST SAVE…a little bit! Small but incremental savings over time can quickly pile up. For example, instead of buying a $5 latte at your local coffee shop every week or every day, cut back and put that money into a dental savings fund and watch it grow!
Use a FSA (flexible spending account) or HSA (health savings account) to pay for dental expenses. This can help you save money on taxes and reduce your out-of-pocket costs.
Consider a dental insurance plan. These plans usually cover 100% of preventive care such as cleanings and exams and a small percentage of necessary dental work. Be aware that to get the maximum benefit from a dental insurance plan you need to go to a dentist “in-network.”
But what if you want to go to your preferred dental office who also happens to be “out of network”? Ask if they offer their own in-house dental savings or membership plan. You just pay an annual or monthly fee and get reduced rates on various treatments. You should compare the costs, potential downsides, and benefits of different dental insurance plans versus an in-house membership plan and choose one that fits your needs and budget.
Seek out affordable or free dental care options. If you don’t have dental insurance or a dental savings plan, or if you still need help paying for dental care, you can look for alternative dental care options in your area.
Some possible sources are: dental school clinics, community health centers or other charitable organizations and programs. You may have to wait longer or make multiple visits, but you can get quality care at a low price.
Taking time to plan ahead and find the best options for your family’s dental health needs will save you money in the long run. Remember, investing in your mouth and smile is investing in a healthy future!