What If You Can't Afford The Cost Of Your Dental Work?

Sitting in the dentist's chair and hearing them explain that you need work done can be really anxiety-inducing when you're on a limited budget. You might be tempted to just walk out the door and never come back, but that's never a smart idea when it comes to your teeth. If you don't take care of the problem now, it will just get worse — and that means more pain and more costly treatment.

So, what are your options when you can't afford the cost of dental work? Actually, there are several.

Look into dental insurance plans.

Contact the company who holds your health insurance policy, and ask how much it would cost to add dental insurance to your plan. Sometimes this is prohibitively expensive, but other times, it's more affordable than you'd think, especially if you have a low income. Dental insurance doesn't always cover the full cost of treatments, but it should cover at least a good portion of it. You could sign up for a year, pay the low monthly fees, get your dental work done for less, and then terminate your policy at the end of the year if needed.

Ask about payment plans.

Dentists do not always tell their patients up front that they offer payment plans, because of course they plan to be paid in full when possible. But if you ask your dentist about payment plans, chances are they'll have something to offer. They may let you pay off the cost of your procedure over 12 or even 24 months. Often, you end up paying interest with this type of plan, which means you pay a little more for the treatment overall, but it means you can have the work done sooner than it you were to wait and save up.

Ask about lower-cost alternatives.

The first treatment option the dentist will recommend is generally the treatment option that is the very best for your long-term dental health. However, there may be other options that are reasonably suitable and far more affordable. For instance, if you lose a tooth, dentists generally recommend an implant. But if you cannot afford an implant, they can instead insert a bridge — which is not quite as good for the teeth still in your mouth, but is still better than nothing and is far cheaper than an implant.

Never run from a dental procedure because it's expensive. The problem will only grow more expensive to fix over time. Between dental insurance, payment plans, and less-expensive treatment options, your dentist can work with you to find a treatment plan that fits your wallet. Contact a dentist in your area to learn more.