Dental Care on a Budget

In these economic times, it is easy to forgo all but the most critical expenses. As the saying goes; ignore your teeth and they’ll go away! Dental care needn’t be forsaken when the money gets tight. Here are some things to consider about dental care when planning your expenses:

  • Maintain at least an annual visit. Regular cleaning and check-ups keep your gums healthy, which slows down gum disease and helps avoid the need for periodontal surgery- a much bigger expense-in the future.  We can also catch a cavity when it is just beginning. For example, a tooth may need a filling that could cost approx. $200. A bigger filling is more expensive. If that is let go until the tooth needs a root canal, that can cost approximately $1500.
  • Explore your dental care options. For example, although a crown may be the ideal treatment, it may be possible to repair a tooth with a bonded or traditional filling as an interim measure and hold off that crown procedure for a while.
  • Missing teeth? A low cost removable appliance can give you better chewing ability and protect the remaining teeth against excessive force until you can afford a better option such as a fixed bridge or an implant.
  • Many diseases can manifest in the mouth; such as cancers, diabetes, leukemia and acid reflux. Your dentist could be your first line of defense against chronic illness.
  • Treatment can’t always be postponed or mitigated. Consider having necessary procedures spread out over a period of time to meet your budget needs.
  • Have dental x-rays taken as needed rather than on a schedule.
  • Leave your silver fillings alone. Old fillings don’t necessarily need to be replaced just because they are old or made of metal.
  • With your MD’s consent, the use of alternative therapies-supplements or herbs, may suffice for certain conditions if traditional therapies are not working.