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Learn How To Lower Dental Expenses

Dental care is expensive. Because of the costs associated with professional dental care, more than 50 percent of uninsured and 30 percent of insured Americans skipped dental office visits in 2009 (Harris Interactive/HealthDay Poll). That move is not a smart, as dental neglect can cost significantly more than investing in the necessary preventative dental treatments to maintain dental health.

While some individuals are partaking in dental tourism to offset the expenses associate with dental care, others are staying stateside and trying to work the costs into budget. For those partaking in the latter, 0900-DENTIST has some smart recommendations on how to save money on dental work.

Preventative Dentistry

The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is as true today as when Benjamin Franklin first uttered the words. Estimates have suggested that for every one dollar spent towards preventative dental treatments like cleanings, exams and fluoride can result on a savings ranging from $8 to $50 associated with tooth restoration. If Americans choose to get important preventative dentistry backed by behaviours such as flossing and brushing, the practice would result in an approximate industry wide savings of $4 billion annually.

The fact is preventative dentistry is a money saving move. Depending on where a dentist is located and amount of time they’ve practiced, professional dental exams and cleanings can cost approximate $50 to $150 per session. At this time a dental care practitioner will search for signs of tooth decay and remove any dental plaque and tartar build-up that can increase the odds of developing dental problems.

Catch and Treat Dental Problems Early

Individuals are advised to see their dentist twice a year (more often for postmenopausal women) in order to catch any dental issue early. That simple process can literally shave thousands of dollars off the costs of dental care. Gum disease and cavities do not just magically appear over night and the earlier the conditions are caught the more affordable it will be to eradicate them.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that “..tooth decay affects children in the United States more than any other chronic infectious disease.” Adults are no better, as 92 of them (aged 20 to 64) have experienced tooth decay in their permanent teeth. Regardless of the age of the patient, when tooth decay is caught in its earliest stages, the cost to fill a tooth starts at a modest $75 for a silver amalgam filling.

If left unchecked, tooth decay can erode large amounts of tooth enamel and eventually teeth. When too much tooth area is destroyed, a dental filling will not be enough to stabilize the condition. Instead, a costly dental crown may be in order. Dental crowns involve more time and effort of a dentist and are priced accordingly starting at $500 per tooth up to a whopping $3,000 per service. Ultimately, dental neglect can cost a patient seven to 40 times more than immediately discovering and treating dental cavities.

Health Savings Account

Regardless of if a consumer has dental insurance, a dental plan or no dental coverage at all, they will have to pay some out of pocket expenses for their professional dental care. A health savings account (HSA) is the best way to bank the money for dental treatment because of the incentives associated with this specialized savings account.

HSAs became part of the American vernacular once President Bush approved the devices as part of the Medicare Bill reforms in 2003. The specialized savings accounts allow individuals to save up to $3,050 annually and families can bank up to $6,150. Additionally individuals over the age of 55 can make another $1,000 in contributions. That money is banked on a pre-tax basis and can lower the levels of income taxes for a specific year. Plus, most HSA offer higher than average interest rates in comparison to traditional savings accounts, meaning that more money can be earned to offset dental expenses.

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