Can’t afford to visit the dentist? You’re not alone. According to the data, the price of dental care has been increasing at about twice the rate of inflation in the present decade meaning that, relative to income, costs have been going up and up. Studies show that access to dental work has fallen significantly since 2010, with around 5 percent fewer people with cover.
With prices going through the roof and with some patients unable to pay for dental work out-of-pocket, what can be done to make going to the dentist cheaper? Take a look at some of these money-saving ideas.
Take Part In A Medical Study
Universities and research laboratories are constantly looking for people to trial new experimental treatments and methods. As such, there might be a trial being held near you which requires people with your particular dental problem. Even though the treatments are experimental, they can often be very effective. What’s more, participation in most studies is usually free. You could be involved in a study trialing new dental implants or pioneering a new method to extract wisdom teeth. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research maintains a database on its website of all ongoing clinical trials.
Engage In Dental Tourism
Thanks to the rising costs of dental care in some countries, people are starting to turn their attention abroad. Traveling abroad for treatment usually isn’t worth it for small procedures, but it can make a lot of sense if you need to have extensive work done. Just be wary that treatment abroad, though cheaper, might not be performed to the same high standards you're used to at home so you could be at risk.
Find A Part-Time Job With Dental Benefits
Although most jobs will require you to work full time to get dental benefits, there are still some part time jobs that offer this perk. So long as you meet the minimum number of hours required to get the benefit, you should qualify for free dental care through your employer.
Offer To Barter
Dentists, like everybody else, need certain services. If you’re cash-poor but have a marketable skill, like accountancy, web design or marketing, you could offer your services in exchange for procedures at the dentist. This would lower your costs and leave you no worse off.
Bartering isn’t the most efficient way of trading. But there are now bartering websites out there that can make the process a lot easier.
Find Out If There Are Discounts
Most dentists understand that some people aren’t covered by dental insurance. Although the price that insurance companies pay for treatment is high, many dentists will accept lower payments if you are paying out-of-pocket. Sometimes this is out of genuine sympathy, but in other instances, they have formal discount programs set up. Talk to your dentist about your financial situation and ask whether they’d be willing to reduce their prices temporarily if you pay out-of-pocket. Offer to book an appointment with them during a slow period of business, like during the Christmas break or late on a Friday afternoon.
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