Dental Insurance is a wonderful thing. Knowing you are covered when it comes to Dental Health gives you peace of mind and keeps you covered in case of an emergency. But having insurance does not mean you can slack off when it comes to taking care of your teeth and gums. Below are a few common sense tips that will help keep you in good dental health!
See your dentist twice a year. Seeing your dentist twice a year (up to four times a year if you are diagnosed with gum disease) can save you money, time and the potential for discomfort. The enamel of our teeth is the hardest substance in the human body. This is a mixed blessing, because most cavities are painless and we are often unaware of a problem until it is too late. A small cavity that progresses to the nerve and starts to cause pain will often require a root canal, post and crown. The cost of theses procedures is about 8-10 times the cost of a filling. Visiting a dentist twice a year will help make sure everything in your mouth is healthy and you have no dental trouble on the horizon.
Brush and floss at least three times a day. This is something dentists call home care. The work you do at home can greatly reduce the amount of treatment (and expense) you will require from your dentist. Although it seems excessive, most dentists suggest you brush at least three times a day, after eating and before bed. Brush for about 2-3 minutes, using the techniques your dental hygienist has recommended (if you are not sure about the best way to brush, just ask at your next visit). They also suggest you floss once a day, before you brush. For those who are especially cavity prone, use a fluoride containing mouthwash in addition to the fluoridated toothpaste that everyone should use.
Buy dental insurance. Do you have dental insurance? Having dental insurance will reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Contact Blue Star Benefits for a free quote on dental insurance for you and your family. When it comes to your families dental health, preventative care will help keep you safe and save you money on your bi-annual visits – but in the case of an emergency, dental insurance can literally save you thousands!
Ask for alternative treatment plans. There are often several different ways to treat a dental condition. Each option has both advantages and disadvantages and different costs. The replacement of a missing tooth is a good example. Permanent tooth replacement with fixed bridge or implant will cost substantially more than a removable partial denture. Always ask your dentist to explain all treatment decisions and their costs ahead of time so you can make an informed decision.
Get a second opinion. Different dentists charge different fees and have different philosophies of treatment. Some dentists believe that they should present the “most ideal treatment” to every patient, even though what is ideal for one patient may not be for someone else. That is why it is important for dentists to present all treatment options, including the risks, benefits and costs of each option. If your dentist is reluctant to provide treatment alternatives, consider getting a second opinion. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what treatment you want and what you can afford.