A trip to the dentist is never cheap, especially for those of us who do not have dental insurance and rely on paying out-of-pocket.  While the idea of not going to the dentist is appealing, in the end it will be your teeth that will ply the price.  Also your body can suffer due to not having proper dental care.  Studies have shown that poor oral health increases the risk of heart disease by 180%, diabetes and stroke by 300% and respiratory infection by 500%.  Taking care of your teeth is a big deal and very important. Here are a few tips to do so without taking such a big bite out of your budget.

Look for Dental Clubs

There are thousands of dentists in the US that offer discount dental plans, it’s an alternative to dental insurance.  These plans can help you save hundreds of dollars, even thousands, annually on professional cleanings, comprehensive exams and restorative care.  Some even cover cosmetic treatments, which are usually not covered by insurance at all. You pay for what you need unlike insurance, where you pay whether you use it or not.

Negotiate

If you don’t ask, you don’t get.  It’s always possible that your dentist might be open to offering a discount for word-of-mouth referrals. And if you’re paying with cash, your dentist might have a savings plan available.

Dentistry Students

Some dental schools provide services for significantly less than a dental practice. To find a school in your area, visit the American Dental Association’s website to find a list of these schools.

Second Opinions

Anytime we spend lots of money on something, we try to always get the best deal, and that should be no different for a dental procedure.  If you believe the first estimate was on the pricey side, find another dentist to get a second opinion.  You’d be surprised at how much the price of one dentist differs from another.

Prevention

Taking care of your teeth is the best way to avoid most issues with your teeth.  Brushing with toothpaste for at least two minutes, twice a day and flossing at least once every 24 hours will go a long way to save money dental costs, prevention costs less than restoration.