Top 5 Dental Insurance Alternatives

5 Dental Insurance Alternatives

Despite being a core element of our overall health, most insurances do not provide dental coverage as part of their plans. Not unless you have a specific add-on for oral health or a separate dental insurance plan altogether which most of us can barely afford.

And even if you can manage to squeeze out a little cash for it every month, there are chances that you might not need any of that at the end of the day. And this begs the question as to whether you should buy a dental insurance plan or if there are other options to it. 

Moreover, most government-sponsored schemes like Medicaid, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) usually do not cover the entire dentistry cost in their program. This leaves an overwhelming  1/4th of the population without dental coverage while an unbelievable 80% of people tend to delay or neglect it knowing fully well that it will cost them more later as the problem gets worse.

We know you don’t want to end up like that! And therefore, have listed 5 of the best alternatives to dental insurance that you can use in times of toothaches and emergencies. 

Here’s what they are:

1. Preventive or Self-care

Since most tooth problems occur due to improper hygiene and lack of care, it’s something you can work on yourself without having to see a dentist. 

Start by making a habit of brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, at least twice a day for optimum results. Stay away from harmful food items such as sugary, acidic, or carbonated drinks to protect your teeth from decay and enamel erosion. Avoid the use of nicotine, tobacco, and alcohol if you want your teeth to last long.

And lastly, gargle your mouth with salt water frequently as it’s an effective way to kill bacteria, ease pain, and loosen mucus.

2. In-house financing program for uninsured patients

Self-pay or paying out of pocket is still the best way to meet your dental needs especially when they are minimal and limited to routine oral check-ups. 

Moreover, many dentists being familiar with the expensive costs of complex dental work such as root canal or tooth extraction offer special discounts or monthly payment plans to their clients which makes it easier for people to afford proper care.

So don’t hesitate when enquiring about the cost of the whole treatment and available finance options that the dentist or clinic might provide to its underprivileged or uninsured patients.  

3. Dental Membership/ Savings/ Discount Plans

One of the cheapest and best alternatives to a dental insurance plan is a dental savings plan aka dental membership or discount plan.

Unlike traditional insurances, a dental savings plan allows you to avail full dental services without the liability of monthly premiums and deductibles, or the fear of losing the plan’s validity. What’s more, is that you can choose from a number of plans and payment methods at a way cheaper price than dental insurance. 

5 Dental Insurance Alternatives

For instance, some digital health companies offer numerous types of dental savings plans that you can choose from for a variety of dental health services at an exceptionally low price of wholesale value. 

4. Community clinics and dental schools

Another pocket-friendly alternative to dental insurance is to get the treatment through a charitable or non-profit organization. There are several such institutions like community clinics, dental schools, and other initiatives that aim at providing free or cheaper dental care solutions to all. 

Almost every state in the United States has at least one or few such dental care centers whether privately or in public hospitals that you can get in touch with for affordable access to your dental health.

For more info on available public programs, kindly visit the official site of the American Dental Association (ADA) where you can also find the names and locations of all the low-cost dental clinics within each state.

5. Short-term loans or lines of credit

And finally, we have the ultimate solution to all our money problems that comes by many names but is synonymous with only one thing i.e. a loan.

Sure you’d have to pay the interest! But think of it as a smart strategy- as instead of paying for dental insurance on a monthly basis, which you might not even need (should you take proper care of your teeth in the first place), you’ll only be paying back the interests against the loan you may borrow, but which in all probabilities isn’t going to happen every now and then.

All-in-all, affordable dental care isn’t a far-fetched idea in today’s medical society given that you are aware of your needs and financial limitations. 

Some of the best choices when it comes to cost-effective substitutes to conventional dental insurances include in-house financing or discount programs, dental savings or membership plans, dental schools, colleges, and community clinics along with self-care and self-pay at the top of the list.