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Friday, January 22, 2010

Fabulessly Frugal Friday: Preventing a High Dental Bill

We like to consider ourselves some what a couponing experts, but you know we do not have a licence to talk coupons or a formal education in deal blogging. (Who does?) We just share our opinions and try to help you save money.
Today I am going to talk about something I AM licenced to educated people in, DENTAL HYGIENE.

I have often seen patients that come in for the first time in 10 years!
The reasons are all very similar:

  • they were not insured for years
  • they put their kids first when it came to their budget and heath care
  • they couldn't afford to take time off of work to come in
  • or their parents could not afford preventative care when they were growing up.

Do you see the reacuring theme here? MONEY!

When you put off dental care for years you comprimise your health. Almost every patient that puts it off this long develops periodontal disease. (Your gums get infected and disease moves down to the bone around your teeth destroying the bone that holds your teeth in.) Teeth decay and break causing the need for root-canals, crowns and fillings.

I have put together an example of how much it may cost to restore your teeth after waiting 10 years. This is a pretty conservative example. It could cost less, but very likely would cost more if you had more than 5 cavities or more than one broken tooth.

Prospective Treatment Plan: *Based on national fees
4-Quad Scaling and Root Planing: $720 (to treat periodontal disease)
1 Crown and build up: $900 (to fix a broken tooth)
1 Root Canal: $700 (to fix the tooth ache from the broken tooth)
5 Fillings @ $150 each : $750 (to fix five cavities)
Total: $3070 or $307/year based on 10 years of missed treatment

If you only did your preventative basics and got a cleaning a check up once a year it would cost you.....

Once a year plan: $140 per year, or less than $12 a month
Adult Prophylaxis $65 (teeth cleaning)
4 Bite-wing x-rays $45
Periodic Exam: $30

If you got your teeth cleaned twice a year which is recomended it would cost you..........

Twice a year plan: $205 per year or $17 a month
Adult Prophylaxis every 6 months $130 (recomended)
4 Bite-wing x-rays $45
Periodic Exam: $30

I only put the once a year plan in because some people that really take care of their teeth at home (that means flossing every day :) can get by with a cleaning only once a year.

So if you can just find it in the budget to keep up on your dental care it will help you stay disease free and cost you LESS in the long run. Plus you will love going to the dentist because you will have easy cleanings and less dental work needed.

Ok I have more to say! But I will have you wait until next week to learn more about what you can do to prevent a high dental bill!

*In your area it could be more or less!

ps - Cathy here... just wanted to remind you about the FREE offer running right now for our FABULOUS readers with Dr. Brandon Taylor. You can read all about it in my review post here.

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Sandy Wright said...

Thanks for your information and knowledge on dental hygiene. I totall agree that working dental into your budget is a money saver in the long run.
I do somewhat disagree on the discount dental. I am a health specialist w/ Ameriplan and we offer a discount dental plan. Our saving are a little more than what you have listed for the preventative care and you save 20% on other services (fillings, crowns, etc.) We also have no limits, which insurnace does. If someone has nothing and needs dental work done, saving 20% is better than nothing (as we couponers are aware of).
Waiting until next week to see what other info. you share with us.

Monica said...

I pulled the info on the discount dental. I wanted to add it in next week. If you have any info you would like to email me I could see about working it into my post.

Jamie said...

Listen to her, she's right!!!! My husband and I never took the time or money while we were at college. So far my husband has had 2-3 cavities filled, and a root canal. Turns out that the root canal got infected, he had to have the tooth removed, has had a bone graft, a screw put in, now we're just waiting for the new/fake tooth.

More than anything, I was so embaressed that my husband was missing a tooth. . . . luckily it was in the back, and you really can't tell.

Get your dental work done. . . floss your teeth!!!!

That's my 2 cents. :)

Carolee said...

I totally agree--preventative care is most often cheaper in the long run!

Stylin' Binder's said...

Good Job Monica She is a great hygienist i use to work with her!!! Don't for get about Give Kids A Smile that is coming up in a couple weeks. If your kids don't have insurence it's a great way to get you kids teeth checked and fixed. Check with your school to get signed up i look forward to it every year and helping these kids have a great smile!

Missy said...

I said yes to every single one of your "excuses." I have not seen a dentist in over 10 years.
Do I know that I need to go? Of course.
Do I know that it will be more expensive in the long? Of course.
But I really don't have the money in the budget to go to a dentist. It's a reality for a lot of people.

Stylin' Binder's said...

ISU if you look them up has a dental program here is Boise that does dental care for people based on your income a great way to get off to the right start and Appallo college you can get in to have your teeth cleaned they are always looking for patients.

Monica said...

Missy- Thanks for your comment. I hope my post did not come across the wrong way. (I hope I have not offended you) Not my intention.
$12-$17 a month can be worked in to most budgets.
Unfortunaly the huge bill after waiting a long time is a lot harded to swallow.
Many dentists offer Care Credit with CareCredit, you can get either a NO INTEREST payment plan or an extended LOW FIXED INTEREST payment plan. http://www.carecredit.com/howcarecreditworks.html
Good luck Missy.

Monica said...

Stylin Binders has a great point, check with the colleges in your area to see if they have dental or dental hygiene programs that offer discounted dental care.