With these hard economic times, many people no longer have dental insurance and some of those people simply stop going to the dentist. People often assume that if their tooth doesn’t hurt, then they must not need to see the dentist. The truth is that delaying preventative care like cleanings can cost you more in the long run. There are several low cost options available to you to help maintain your teeth during difficult economic times. Here are some of those options:
Option 1: New patient discounts.
Most dentists are actively looking for new patients and aggressively market for your business by offering “New Patient Specials,” which include exams, x-rays, and a cleaning. Dentists lose money on these deals, but they are hoping you will return to their office for future checkups and treatment. New Patient Specials can work out great for you, but there are some words of caution. Watch out for dental offices trying to sell you something that you do not need. Some offices try to up-sell you like a car dealership!
Option 2: Large chain dental offices.
Large dental groups often can provide financing and discounted rates. In general, you should not expect great personalized service at these types of offices. The dentists are over-worked and will not have time to spend the time with you that you deserve. Also, watch out for their “upgrades” which make you feel like you are being sold something you do not really want/need.
Option 3. Family Health Centers of San Diego:
Family Health Centers of San Diego is a private nonprofit community clinic organization. These clinics are federally-funded health centers that provide full service medical, dental, and mental health programs. People can get these services and only pay what they can afford, based on their income. There are 28 clinic locations throughout the County of San Diego, including 3 dental clinics located in Grossmont, Logan Heights, and North Park.
Visit the FHCSD website for more information.
Option 4: Stay with your current dentist.
Stay with your current dentist; however, explain your situation and ask for a discount or payment plan. This might be the best choice for most people, especially if you already have a dentist you really like. If you already have a good relationship with your dentist and you feel you can trust the office then you really should not end that relationship to save a few dollars. Most dentists will value your business enough that they will work something out for you to stay with them. It never hurts to ask!
Option 5: Go to a dental school.
Unfortunately, there are no dental schools here in San Diego, but if you have time and are willing to travel a bit this may be an option worth considering. Dentists in training are always looking to people to practice on! You might be surprised that you can get top level services from students, as each step of their work is thoroughly checked by an instructor and judged at the highest standards. The major down side is that because of all of the grading that is being done by the instructors, you will spend a lot of time at each visit. There are five dental schools in California. Visit their websites to learn more:
Option 6: Low cost dental insurance
Overall, getting dental insurance is not very expensive. You can get individual coverage for as little as $100 per year and family coverage for about $170 per year. A quick search of the internet can lead you to many dental insurance options. Certain organizations, of which you may already be a part, also offer discounted insurance programs. For example, Costco offers affordable dental insurance through DeltaCare. AARP also has discounted programs for their members. If you do your homework you can find a good plan that will not cost you very much money. Having a basic insurance plan will definitely pay off if you need more than just a basic cleaning twice a year.
Visit the Dentist Finder San Diego home page to find a dentist in San Diego now!