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At the end of the year my oldest son turned 6. This is an exciting age because its the first venture of going to kindergarten with a packed lunch, having a chance to meet new friends, and getting involved with the school programs.
Just a few months ago, he lost his first tooth and my instant fear of crooked teeth or cavities being on the near horizon became a realization.
Growing up I wore braces for three years so I am thankful for my parents not letting me walk around with crooked or misaligned teeth but cavities are so prevalent in my family.
His first tooth going under the pillow I thought to myself, “What does our family dental plan look like?” as we wait for the tooth fairy to arrive to reward him with a monetary gift under his pillow.
If you are like 1/3 of Americans who didn’t visit a dentist last year1, then it is recommended you go because oral health is “is an integral part of general health and, therefore, can be rightly called as the gateway of the body.”2 and the most likely reason you haven’t went is because of the unknown or expected expenses you will have to pay.
So basically money. But it is also important to note that those who ignore dental treatments or have dental problems, there are studies suggesting chronic gum infection is associated with an increased risk for heart attacks.
If you acquire dental insurance, then it opens a network of providers or specialized dentists or oral specialists for you. Having a dental insurance plan can cost anywhere from “$20-$60 per month per family member.”3
Plans may require a 12-month contract or a waiting period of 6-18 months before they pay for very expensive to serious procedures. While this isn’t meant to discourage you, it is to educate you.
Discover a fast way to payoff your debt.
Approximately 40% of Americans don’t have dental insurance and “most who have a dental plan lose that coverage once they retire” writes Consumer Reports.4
One dental insurance company that I recommend is SpiritDental. For my local area in Texas, a family plan called Network 1200 (maximum benefit of $1200) averages about $102.55 per month which covers 100% preventive care, up to 80% of basic procedures and up to 50% on both major and ortho care. For an additional $20/month, they will add a vision plan. With a plan like this, your family is entitled to two exams and three cleanings per calendar year. The average dental cleaning cost can range from $75-$200 according AuthorityDental.org.5
SpiritDentalThe Network 1200/2500/5000 plan for up to $5,000 Max Benefit quoted me $134.43/month. This plan offers no waiting periods for major services, national PPO, plan coverage for crowns, bridges, implants, dentures, and more. Which we all know are expensive procedures. has a plan for every person so click the link for extra savings.
Another way to shop around for plans is DentalPlans. This company functions by offering you’re a dental savings plan. It functions very similar to a membership at a warehouse club so you would pay an annual fee in order to get reduced rates.
Their plans cover more than 100,000 dentists across the country. Shopping other services can save you up to 60% on dental care. The way this company operates is you look at a variety of plans they offer. Currently they have over 30 select plans to choose from. Then you review which procedures may apply to you and then schedule a dental visit.
Here are Several Ways to Save on Dental
1. Obtain dental insurance. Having such insurance can act as a financial safety net because it consumes a large portion of your dental bills and will usually cover most types of dental care. If you can get through your employer, it has the potential to cover most expenses.
2. Consider getting a dental savings plan. If you employer doesn’t offer dental insurance or if you are self-employed, then purchasing a dental savings plan can save you big money in the long-run. You will have to pay an annual fee in order to get access to thousands of dentists but these dentist offices have agreed to lower rates through such plans.
3. If you are a veteran, check to see if you have a service-connected disability. This could make you eligible with the Department of Veterans Affairs for free comprehensive dental care. Also, the VA offers a VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP) allowing the opportunity to purchase dental insurance at reduced rates. This program is usually for veterans and their CHAMPVA beneficiaries only. However, I must note that VADIP is a pilot program and currently scheduled to end December 31, 2021 unless Congress extends it.
4. Shop around for plans. Browsing rates through DentalPlans.com to compare prices may help you save big money annually.
5. This last one should go without say, but brush regularly and floss. While there are many who will still be suspect to cavities just due to genetics.
These ideas are meant to help assist you while you are on your way to financial freedom or perhaps working towards debt freedom. If you have ways that saved you on your dental plan, please share those with the community in the comments box below.
1 National Health Interview Survey. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
2 Garla, Bharath K., Satish, G, and Divya, K.T. Dental Insurance: A Systematic Review. Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry. December 2014. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4278106/
3 Glover, Lacie. Dental Insurance Benefits, Costs, and Alternatives. Nerd Wallet. October 7, 2016. Retrieved from https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/health/dental-insurance/
4 Dental Insurance That Will Save Your Smile. Consumer Reports. February 9, 2017. Retrieved from https://www.consumerreports.org/health-insurance/dental-insurance-that-will-save-your-smile/
5 Bradshaw, Zachary. Dental Cleaning Cost: How to Save Money on Professional Teeth Cleaning. AuthorityDental. March 23, 2018. Retrieved from https://www.authoritydental.org/cleaning-cost