We all dislike going to the dentist. For many people this dislike comes from fear of the pain and discomfort that is often associated with dental procedures. An increasingly large number of people fear these visits because of the hefty price tags associated with dental work.
First, remember to shop around a bit. Not all dentists charge the same amount for procedures. There is not a set pricelist to which all dentists must adhere. Some dentists will lower the bill a bit if you have brought in referrals. Another option is to stick to the same dentist, as some dentists will reward loyalty giving you discounts.
You can always shop around and look for dentists offering discounts on certain procedures in order to attract new business. Finally, before you get your procedure done, discuss the situation with your dentist and make it clear that you are shopping around. If the dentist needs your business they may very well quote you a lower price to gain your business.
Second, consider dental schools. Many people seem to think that dental schools only offer basic procedures like teeth cleaning and examinations. This is untrue; many schools also allow students to perform fillings, root canals, and crowns.
The downside to this is that your appointment will take quite a bit longer as the student’s work is supervised by an instructor who will be double checking the work. This option is good for you in that the quality it typically very high and you can save 50% or more versus going to a dentist.
Third, consider discount clubs or cards. These are basically membership cards that offer you a percentage off of services from a network of dental practices. A monthly premium is usually (but not always) charged. Your discounts won’t be as high as it would be with traditional dental insurance, but it is better than paying full price.
Finally, many people actually consider having dental work done in other countries. This is because many of these foreign practices charge much less. Be very careful of this approach, as these dentists may not have the same standards or education as a dentist trained in the United States. If possible look for a dentist in these foreign countries who was trained in the United States.
Any of these are an option, but bear in mind that they all have their pros and cons. Consider each option carefully in order to find the one that best fits your current situation. After all, it makes no sense to get procedure done overseas if the discount doesn’t offset the travel costs.