I feel like the term “affordable dentist” is only used to attract patients. I wasn’t able to get dental insurance until September of last year and I have quite a few issues with my teeth, and so does my oldest son. The first dental office I visited for my own care proposed a treatment plan with an estimated cost of $10,000.
I’m a working father with a family of five, and I don’t have that kind of money. So I thanked them for their time and began searching for another dentist who is less expensive.
So far, the dentists I’ve found who advertise low-cost dentistry don’t have great reviews. And, the dentists I’ve had consultations with have way too many patients in the waiting area. Considering the amount of dental work I need, I want to develop a real relationship with the dentist and feel comfortable.
How can I find a dentist who actually does good work and doesn’t have unusually high fees?
Your situation is very common, but a change in perspective can help.
It may seem that services offered by dentists are all the same whether you need a dental crown, deep cleaning, or more extensive work. However, each dentist has a unique approach.
When Affordable Dentistry Is Cheap in Quality
From the dentist’s perspective, ways to reduce costs are limited. Some options include:
- Acquiring a large amount of patients but limiting the time spent with each of them
- Using cheaper materials
- Controlling the payroll budget by having a smaller or less-experienced team
- Limiting amenities available in the office.
Each of the above factors would affect your experience or outcome as a patient. Sacrificing quality to cut costs is not beneficial for you, so it’s often best to avoid offices that use those options solely to save money.
Ways to Find a Quality Affordable Dentist
- Find an office that will provide dental care in phases based on your budget.
- Explore financing options, either through an in-house program offered by the dental office or a financing company like CareCredit.
- If you don’t have a dental insurance plan, consider getting one. Consider obtaining a secondary insurance plan too. It’s possible to get a PPO plan for $40-50 per month, but be aware of wait periods for pre-existing conditions.
- Review the dentist’s credentials and experience—specifically in the areas that you need care. And look for an online smile gallery of photos of the dentist’s work.
- Carefully check patient reviews online.
- Begin by addressing the dental issue that has the highest priority. Your dentist will explain the order of priority. The longer you let an issue go untreated, the more expensive it will become to treat.
- Speak with the dental office about how your insurance benefits work, and ask for help determining if there are ways to maximize your benefits.
A great office will help you find ways to make dental care affordable, even if your care is completed a little at a time.
This blog is sponsored by Dr. Miranda Lacy, a Plano dentist who makes quality care more affordable.