If you haven't been to the dentist in a while, you're not alone. Studies show that more than 50% of Americans haven't seen a dentist in the last five years.
Dental care—cleanings, fillings, fluoride treatments, and much more—is essential for optimum health. But in recent years, the cost of dental care has contributed to many people neglecting their oral health.
Understanding how critical oral care is to your overall health and well-being, some dental practices now offer insurance and payment options that can put the cost of dental care within reach of patients who couldn't otherwise afford treatment.
Oral Health Impacts More Than Just Your Mouth
Oral health is more than just having a good smile; the health of your mouth can impact your body’s overall health and well-being.
Dentists are trained to look beyond the gum line and recognize indicators of systemic disease, including diabetes and cancer—just one of many reasons it's vital to make regular visits to your dentist.
Oral bacteria can enter your bloodstream from infected areas in your mouth, such as teeth with cavities, inflamed or infected gums, and areas of ongoing irritation caused by orthodontic appliances such as braces or ill-fitting dentures. Research has shown a correlation between oral infections and heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and preterm labor.
If you have a health condition such as diabetes or heart disease, poor oral health can make it harder to control.
Lack of Dental Coverage Causes Many People to Neglect Their Oral Health
Good dental care starts with regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings. Even though you may practice good at-home care, you should still schedule regular dental checkups.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that people see their dentist every six months for a routine exam and cleaning, but this isn't a recommendation everyone follows. In fact, about 42 percent of Americans see the dentist only when they have a problem, according to the ADA's Health Policy Institute.
Why? If you don't have dental insurance, you may be one of the millions of Americans who neglect regular dental care because of the cost. Even if you have insurance, it may not cover certain visits, or your plan may carry a high deductible that makes you think twice about scheduling an appointment.
But that neglect can be costly in the long run because it can lead to bigger problems down the road that become even more expensive to fix. Fortunately, there are ways to get the care you need in a way you can afford.
Work With a Dental Practice That Offers Dental Insurance, Payment Options, and Warranties
While dental insurance can help soften the blow of major procedures, it doesn't always cover all expenses. And many people don't have insurance at all. Still, there are options for making your dental treatment more affordable.
Some dentists offer in-house discount plans or financing options that can make care more affordable by allowing you to pay over time. Some dental practices even offer their own dental insurance plans.
These are a few options offered by some dental practices:
Kleer. Certain dental practices use Kleer to provide patients with affordable coverage that’s simple, transparent, and easy to use.
Kleer enables dental practices to offer “membership plans” that best meet the needs of their clientele—effectively providing an in-house insurance solution to their patients. Coverage often allows for unlimited coverage and a discount on all fees. Unlike traditional plans, there is no maximum benefit coverage limit.The monthly premium is extremely affordable and there is no pre-existing condition exclusion.
CareCredit. Many dental practices accept CareCredit, which can assist in paying for dental procedures not covered by insurance. CareCredit offers interest-free financing and low minimum monthly payment options to help you manage your dental health.
You can apply for CareCredit in three simple steps, including an instant approval process.
Dental Warranty. Dentists understand that procedures can be expensive, so some practices offer Dental Warranty to provide peace of mind and help patients protect their investments in their smiles.
Dental Warranty coverage requires patients to pay an 11-12 percent fee above the cost of dental services. Then, suppose something happens to your dental work (for example, a crown or filling becomes dislodged). Even if the problem could be considered your fault (such as a secondary cavity), your dental work is fully covered. The warranty period will cover up to SIX years!
San Francisco Dental Wellness Offers Payment Options That Put the Cost of Treatment Within Reach
If you don't have dental insurance, if your coverage is inadequate for the procedure you need, or if you're seeking an elective treatment not covered by your policy, San Francisco Dental Wellness can help.
We offer dental insurance through Kleer and accept CareCredit. We also work with Dental Warranty to help safeguard your investment in your dental health.