It’s no secret that dental care can be expensive, especially when you’ve just graduated and you’re on a tight budget. However, it’s important that you don’t delay your dental work, either. To help make getting dental work more affordable, here’s how you can get dental care without breaking the bank after graduation.
1. Use Your Parents’ Insurance (If You Can)
If you can continue to use your parents’ insurance for a while, take advantage of this. Your parents should have established your dental care early on in your life. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, as well as the American Dental Association, recommend dental care begin at one year old or when a child’s first tooth breaks through. Care should continue from there. If you don’t have money, but your parents’ insurance is still accessible until age 26, you can use that to continue getting the care that you need. While this might not be a permanent solution, it is one that will help you during this time in your life when money is tight.
2. Go to a Local Dental College
If there is a dental college available near you, go to them for free or cheap dental care. During their clinics, students will perform cleanings and exams under the supervision of established dental professionals. They will provide the same quality of care you’d get from somewhere else. However, it will be done alongside their opportunity to learn. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that half of adults over 30 suffer from gum disease. This can occur if you put off dental care. By going to a dental college, you can still get the care you need with a smaller price tag.
3. Discuss Payment Plans With Your Dentist or Orthodontist
Some dentist or orthodontist offices can offer you a payment plan if you can’t afford to pay for your treatment upfront. This is especially likely in an orthodontist’s office since the treatment can get so expensive. Orthodontic treatment generally takes about two years. With 4 million Americans wearing braces, they understand that people often can’t afford to pay a lump sum. This is why payment plans are often available. Since every office is different, talk to your dentist or orthodontist about your options.
4. Get Dental Insurance
If you can do so, get dental insurance after you graduate. Dental is generally available for an additional price when you work a job that offers insurance. While this will cost you some money, it can also save you money on dental care in the future. If you want to get your own dental insurance plan, make sure that you research all of your options. This will help you choose the best plan for your needs and your budget.
5. Ask About Memberships
Many dental offices offer memberships to customers. In this case, you pay a flat rate at the beginning of the year that covers a certain amount of services. For instance, your membership might include two cleanings and exams, plus X-rays and discounts on other services. This membership is cheaper than paying for all of these things individually. Not every dentist offers this type of service, so ask around dental offices in your area for help. While you’ll have to pay some money upfront for the membership, it will save you money and encourage you to stay caught up with your dental care.
Dental care is expensive. When you get out of college, it is often a time in your life when you don’t have a lot of money. However, this doesn’t mean you should neglect your dental hygiene. Instead, consider these options as you figure out your dental plans. By applying these tips to your life, you can find much cheaper options.