Within the nation, 99 percent of citizens try to share 1 percent of the nation's wealth and for those who get the smallest slice of the pie, budget friendly dental care is a must. While it may be tempting to skip basic oral hygiene such as brushing, flossing and regular dental visits to save money, that strategy can end up costing way more than cash in the long run.
When it comes to dental health, preventive dentistry has also proven to be more cost effective than paying for restorative dental work to fix the damage done. Once such example demonstrating the price differences can be generated from using the estimated cost of water fluoridation per person from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fluoridation of public water supplies have been a policy since the 1960s. At that time, a decision was made based on scientific research that found the compound was extremely effective in combating and preventing tooth decay and the agency has estimated that adding the cavity fighting compound cost an averages $0.72 per person. That investment is far less expensive than getting silver amalgam fillings for $75 -$160 a pop theoretically proving that preventative dentistry is a smart way to make dental care budget friendly.
Affordable dental care is one of the biggest challenges facing American families today as prior to the recession, over 100 million Americans lacked dental insurance and the problem has grown worse over the past few years. Studies have indicated that dental insurance coverage is one of the leading factors that contribute to a person's commitment to visiting the dentist regularly. Unfortunately, dental insurance coverage seems to be a dying niche. More employers are cutting that type of coverage from their benefit plans, industry insurers have not raised the maximum reimbursement amount to patients and the cost for dental treatments such as root canals and crowns have skyrocketed, fewer and fewer people are opting for dental insurance coverage and skipping professional dental care until an emergency develops as a result.
In addition to weak dental insurance coverage, their is a shortage of dentists (based on location) in the nation that makes it even more difficult for individuals to get the dental care they need. The federal government has suggest that more than 31 million people live in areas designated as "dental shortage areas." According to the New York Times, since 1990, the number of private dentists have hit a plateau at approximately 150,000 while the country's population has grown by 22 percent (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/28/business/28teeth.html?adxnnl=1&;pagewanted=2&;adxnnlx=1307725920-TXxhGk/udcBwKdj93SjFLw). These sad statistics indicate why individuals must proactively seek out budget friendly dental care on their own.
The cash strapped can breath a sigh of relief as the fact is, 98 of all dental disease is preventable as long as the proper oral hygiene steps are implemented. The most common and affordable of the strategies include brushing teeth twice a day and flossing at least once daily to remove excess dental plaque and lower the odds of a community of oral bacteria causing tooth erosion.
1-800-DENTIST defines dental plaque as that "sticky film" that accumulates on teeth. While it just may look like white goo, the compound is actually a group of oral bacteria that have bonded together in order to breakdown any stray food particles and sugars left behind on teeth after eating or drinking beverages. The bacteria are a necessary part of the human digestion process, however as they feast on their meals, they produce an acidic by-product that if not removed by brushing and flossing, will erode teeth and cause dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.
A small budget of around ten dollars will help consumers stock up on the toothbrushes, fluoride toothpaste and dental floss, the tools essential to dental due diligence. Committing to the daily oral hygiene behaviors backed by smart moves such as eating nutritious foods, eliminating soda drinking and exercising regularly can boost dental health and provide budget friendly dental care for the whole family.
Estimates suggest that adult preventative dentistry in the form of check-ups, exams and cleanings will cost around $300 to $400 annually. While statistics on how much that investment can generate in return overtime, there is no arguing that that money can potentially result in thousands of dollars of savings as the cost of repairing dental neglect is substantially more. Estimates suggest the average filling costs $75 to $160 per tooth, crowns can range from cost $500-$3,000 a tooth, root canals can range from $350 to over $1,000 for each and some treatments like dental implants and dentures can cost thousands of dollars.
Those who acknowledge the importance of preventative dentistry need to get creative to fit the expenses into their budget. The process can be as simple as kicking the soda habit and banking the spare change generally reserved for the expense. Estimates suggest that the average American drinks about 56 gallons of soda per year. With a cost of approximately $2 per serving for a fountain soda, the potential to save $1,000 annually is real and choosing water as the drink of choice is a smart move economically and for dental health.
If money is still tight, creative minds can still manage to fit dental care into budget courtesy of negotiating a payment plan with directly with a dentist office or by opting into a financing plan offered by companies such as CareCredit. Individuals looking to find a dentist willing to be flexible with their payment terms can call 1-800-DENTIST to get the name of a local dentist happy to assist with the task.