Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

How to Save Money on Dental Care So You Won't Go Broke at the Dentist (Surviving Socialism)
Len Penzo dot Com ^ | 11-7-12 | Jason Cabler

Posted on 11/10/2012 6:11:43 PM PST by RKBA Democrat

The Great Len Penzo has asked me, nay, compelled me to write a post for you, his followers, on how to save money at the dentist.

Well, he came to the right guy because I may just be the only practicing dentist/personal finance blogger on the planet. Pretty cool, huh?

So today I’ll share with you some of the best things you can do to save money on dental care so you don’t go broke at the dentist.

Dental care, like any other kind of health care, isn’t cheap. So it’s great to be able to save some money any way you can when it comes to caring for your teeth.

Dental Insurance

First, let’s talk about dental insurance. Dental insurance is a great thing, and if your workplace provides it at no cost to you, then obviously you should take it. But if you have to pay for all or part of your dental coverage, then it becomes a judgment call as to whether it’s a good deal or not.

A typical benefit is about $1,000- $1,500 per year per person and that’s it. It certainly doesn’t take long to rack up a bill that exceeds that limit. But if you have great teeth like my man Len and you rarely or hardly ever need anything other than a cleaning, then paying for insurance may be a bad deal. Just pay cash for your twice yearly cleanings and you’ll probably come out ahead in the long run.

However, if you consistently need dental work done every year or two, then insurance is probably a good deal from a numbers standpoint because they will pay out more money in claims than they take from you in premiums.

An alternative to having insurance is to insure yourself by budgeting a set amount every month for dental care. Then when the money is needed, it will be available.

Prevention

Next, let’s talk about prevention.

Most people know how to prevent tooth decay and gum disease through brushing and flossing, but not nearly enough people do it effectively.

I know this stuff is common sense for most of you but it really does work:

Brush every day at least twice, preferably three times (after every meal). You’d be amazed at the number of people that only brush two to three times per WEEK! I’ve even seen extreme cases of patients who had not brushed for YEARS! Then they come see me and ask why their mouth is hurting. I’m not joking. When you do brush, take your time. Thoroughly brush every surface of every tooth. This should take three to five minutes. Most people are shocked at how long three to five minutes seems when they are used to just brushing quickly and not really paying attention, but if you learn to be meticulous, that’s how long it takes. Use a fluoride toothpaste. Most toothpastes have it but some don’t, so read your labels. Use a fluoride rinse after you brush. Stop it with the sugared drinks already. That means sodas, sweet tea, energy drinks, sports drinks, and anything else with sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Having one occasionally is not a big deal, but sipping on them all day long causes you to get a ton of cavities very quickly and will flat out ruin your teeth. I see this a lot in my practice and wonder why so many people never make the connection between lots of sugar and lots of cavities. Get your teeth cleaned every six months. No, this is not a racket for your dentist to make more money. It’s called prevention. Cleaning the tartar buildup off your teeth regularly keeps you from getting gum disease, and a regular exam helps to find any problems at an early stage before they get out of hand and cost more to fix. Don’t go to the cheapest dentist in town. Not all, but some will try to make up for cheap fees by doing more work. It’s sad but true. Ask your friends and family who they trust. When it comes down to it, some people are just more genetically prone to dental problems, and those people are going to end up spending more money on dental care than other people who aren’t.

It stinks, I know, but it makes the tips above that much more important for those people.

Also, if you have mild dental fear, you don’t have to put off dental work anymore and incur larger bills because you waited too long due to fear.

You can ask the dentist for a mild sedative such as Valium or laughing gas (nitrous oxide). If you’re extremely fearful you can even ask for a deeper form of anxiety control called conscious sedation. If your dentist won’t do it, then find one that will.

In this day and age, with the anxiety management tools we now have, dentistry can be done much more comfortably than in the past.

I hope these tips help you save a lot of money and time at the dental office.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Health/Medicine
KEYWORDS: dentalcare; dentalhygiene; dentist; survivingsocialism
I'd add flossing frequently and quitting smoking as well. Be militant about maintaining your health...with deathpanelcare you'll need to!
1 posted on 11/10/2012 6:11:50 PM PST by RKBA Democrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: freespirited; oblomov; Jet Jaguar; wastedyears; nascarnation; Henry Belden; petercooper; ...
Surviving Socialism Pinglist
Stories and tips with a financial emphasis to help conservatives prosper during difficult times.

To be added or taken off this list, please send a FR mail to RKBA Democrat

2 posted on 11/10/2012 6:13:38 PM PST by RKBA Democrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

Spot on advice. Threw out the smokes coming up on six years ago. My Dentist noticed the improvement four years ago. He keeps asking, why do your teeth and gums keep improving?


3 posted on 11/10/2012 6:21:45 PM PST by Patriot365
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

Yes thanks very much for the posting.
Some of us Are REALLY afraid of dental work....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_VU1q7czkE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07JREt5QP48

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b493PSoJNio

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHWdndpZUbI

(Of course, modern dentistry is much better than any of the above! Still and all, some of us remain very afraid...it is difficult to get over this, ha!)


4 posted on 11/10/2012 6:23:48 PM PST by faithhopecharity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: faithhopecharity

Self employed, so not on our plan - but I did go to a dentist once about five years ago....


5 posted on 11/10/2012 6:26:04 PM PST by nevermorelenore
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat
You’d be amazed at the number of people that only brush two to three times per WEEK! I’ve even seen extreme cases of patients who had not brushed for YEARS!

Ewwwww!!!!

That said, I do think "every 6 mos" is unnecessary. Unless you have a specific or unusual dental problem, once a year is good.

6 posted on 11/10/2012 6:26:31 PM PST by workerbee (The President of the United States is DOMESTIC ENEMY #1)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat
I've heard that fluoride is bad for you. Does anyone know the truth?
7 posted on 11/10/2012 6:28:05 PM PST by diamond6 (Pray........pray very hard!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat
Brushing immediately after every meal...and flossing.Another thing,not available to everyone (particularly outside major cities) is getting care by students at a dental school.I haven’t had dental insurance for years so I’ve gone to a dental school for routine and advanced care.A few years back I got several thousand dollars of crown work for the price of the gold ($80).Cleanings are free.Not for everyone...particularly those with "dental phobias".
8 posted on 11/10/2012 6:41:14 PM PST by Gay State Conservative (Ambassador Stevens Is Dead And The Chevy Volt Is Alive)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

From what I understand of recent studies, the flossing is far more important. Brushing is mainly to keep the gums healthy, as the teeth, other than in between, are pretty much self cleaning. Also, should brush before meals or more than an hour after so the acids from the foods have time to neutralize; right after eating the enamel on teeth is slightly softened by those acids, so if you brush right then you wear the teeth further.

Personally, I recommend investing in an electric toothbrush such as the Oral-B pro series (the ones that have ultrasound and 3d motion). Not only do they have a timer to help you get the right amount of brushing, but once I started using one, my dentist always commented on how healthy my mouth was. My brush also has a water-flosser which I use with diluted Listerine, which seems to help immensely.


9 posted on 11/10/2012 6:42:25 PM PST by Little Pig (Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

Best investment ever is is sonicare toothbrush. Will keep you from dental work forever if used 2_3 times a day.


10 posted on 11/10/2012 6:45:51 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat; All

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away - and the dentist at bay”

Apples and strawberries leave your teeth squeaky clean...cheese can aid also

http://www.livestrong.com/article/123675-foods-clean-teeth/

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Do_apples_clean_teeth


11 posted on 11/10/2012 6:52:48 PM PST by maine-iac7 (Christian is as Christian does.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat; Swordmaker

Swordmaker posted an interesting article on dental health a while back: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2769347/posts


12 posted on 11/10/2012 6:53:38 PM PST by cynwoody
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

I use baking soda with small amount of 3% hydrogen peroxide and then toothpaste a couple times per week. Now I see that Colgate OPTIC White toothpaste contains hydrogen peroxide. Costco sells it. It’s supposed to kill bacteria by eliminating oxygen.


13 posted on 11/10/2012 6:56:33 PM PST by Mark (For the first time in my life, I'm no longer proud of my country.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat
One dentist visit in 20 years. No tooth ache. No tooth decay. No cavities. No going back to dentist all the time to get caps glued back on.

For the cost of a couple of root canals you can instead go the store bought route. Go to a Denture Clinic. They are cheaper on the pulling bill also. It's a wise long term cost savings measure especially for anyone taking blood pressure medications.

Seriously a good upper & lower set of store boughts goes at about $300-$400 tops and no one is going to even know it if they do them right.

14 posted on 11/10/2012 7:00:21 PM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: diamond6

What’s bad for you is constant cavities and gum disease. There is a direct relationship between gum disease and heart disease.

Flouride helps prevent this.


15 posted on 11/10/2012 7:03:07 PM PST by Valpal1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Little Pig
water-flosser which I use with diluted Listerine, which seems to help immensely.

I started doing that two years ago and my gums are a healthy pink again.
Once in the Morn and before bedtime. I use the Hydrofloss.

16 posted on 11/10/2012 7:05:21 PM PST by MaxMax
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

My dentist has said that flossing BEFORE brushing is most effective.

When you floss you clean out the food and bacteria from between the teeth.

It makes more sense to floss out the food and bacteria and then brush and rinse it away, than to brush and then floss the food and bacteria into your mouth and leave it there.


17 posted on 11/10/2012 7:07:25 PM PST by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

I’d add: floss before brushing. Allow the tooth brush to carry away the gunk disloged by flossing.


18 posted on 11/10/2012 7:08:06 PM PST by tanknetter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

Avoid popcorn and hard candy. Or at least chew them VERY gingerly. You can break a tooth or filling very easily.


19 posted on 11/10/2012 7:09:40 PM PST by randita
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mark
If your gums are red stop using Peroxide. Peroxide kills healthy cells and can
further irritate the gums. I don't care what the white coats say, don't use it.
20 posted on 11/10/2012 7:10:42 PM PST by MaxMax
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

When I began to floss before brushing, which was just once at night before bed (in the shower, so I could make plenty of mess without worrying about it) I stopped getting cavities of any kind. I’ve had some old crowns get loose and teeth chip, but that’s it.


21 posted on 11/10/2012 7:34:10 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

I chewed leaf tobacco for thirty years and never had a problem with my teeth. I’ve been off it for three years now and my teeth aren’t doing as well. Go figure.


22 posted on 11/10/2012 7:34:48 PM PST by deweyfrank
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

It’s cheaper to drive to Tijuana for dental care than to get it locally in San Jose CA.


23 posted on 11/10/2012 7:36:37 PM PST by null and void (The One can steal an election, but no one can steal our country.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tanknetter

Makes sense, and also it really is only needed to floss in between. Flossing the front and back of teeth is redundant, the brush will hit that part just fine.

Also there is no need to use anything harder than a soft toothbrush. Stiffer bristles will wound the gum. I don’t know what good the little rubber nib on some tooth brushes can do. They say stimulate the gums, but just plain eating will do that.


24 posted on 11/10/2012 7:38:13 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: deweyfrank

The processed kind might be more troublesome than leaves au naturel, because of sugar added to it.


25 posted on 11/10/2012 7:39:46 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: diamond6

Don’t swallow your toothpaste and you will be fine with fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is a mild antiseptic. People debate the gain to be had from fluoridated water; I personally would prefer getting it in toothpaste as too much can be harmful.


26 posted on 11/10/2012 7:41:49 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: HiTech RedNeck
Stiffer bristles will wound the gum.

Maybe minor damage but heals tough. I toughen mine up with a small barbecue cleaning brush -- new, of course, stainless steel bristles and a nice curvature on the profile.

27 posted on 11/10/2012 7:45:05 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture tm)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: null and void

Yes, people from all over the country travel to Tijuana for implants and other advanced work, which is very expensive here. Lately I have seen some low ball implant shops in the states, but wonder how the quality suffers with the unavoidable overhead we have up here.


28 posted on 11/10/2012 7:49:02 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture tm)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: deweyfrank

Dental decay for me nearly ended when I went to diet soft drinks years ago, but there was so much restorative work earlier that a great many of the teeth have to be crowned now, as the fillings fall apart and the teeth crack around them.


29 posted on 11/10/2012 7:51:31 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture tm)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat
Floss, everyday. Use an good (Oral b or the like) electric toothbrush and most importantly get a good water pic and use two or three times a day.

I just had to have a bridge replaced. It was 15 years old. (Long life for a bridge). My portion with insurance was about $600 then. It was $1500 this year with same coverage.

30 posted on 11/10/2012 7:52:45 PM PST by riri (Plannedopolis-look it up. It's how the elites plan for US to live.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

Floss. It’ll take care of 99% of your dental bills by getting all that food stuff, germs and junk from in between your teeth and under your gums.

Think I’ll go floss right now. I feel good afterward....


31 posted on 11/10/2012 7:59:07 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

I like my Water Pik; have a free standing one and it’s pretty good. Also, what about using baking soda to brush and hydrogen peroxide to rinse? I do that; always rinse the hydrogen peroxide out in water though as it’s pretty strong.


32 posted on 11/10/2012 8:24:25 PM PST by Twinkie (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat
"How to Save Money on Dental Care So You Won't Go Broke at the Dentist"

Get'em all pulled......(or visit an Oral Surgeon)

33 posted on 11/10/2012 10:25:32 PM PST by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

I am currently going to a DENTAL CLINIC and will tell you,. they use the latest technology and have done the best dental care I've ever received... my young, about to be licensed dentist is an Asian guy who is very polite, thoughtful and respectful... my daughter set this up for me as I refused to see local dentist as the last one bitched the entire time he worked on me about people not having dental insurance..one filling and he charged $100.00... told kids, whom we had spend a fortune on, with surgeries, braces etc..NEVER going to the dentist again... well daughter had different ideas and Now I THANK HER...FOR I AM VERY PLEASED... BY THE WAY I GO TO THE UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH DENTAL CLINIC...they deserve the 'plug' excellent care ♥
34 posted on 11/10/2012 10:51:58 PM PST by haircutter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Mark
BZZZZZT.

Hydrogen peroxide *liberates* oxygen:

2H2O2 --> 2H2O + O2

Cheers!

35 posted on 11/10/2012 10:55:53 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: haircutter
1) Check out the dental college in your area —you can save a ton that way and get in on the latest technology.

2) Drinking bottled water has led to an increase in cavities because it's usually not fluoridated. Good old tap water, if its palatable, is preferable.

3) If you have slight soreness of the gums or maybe a mouth sore, rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide. Very cheap and extremely effective.

36 posted on 11/10/2012 10:59:47 PM PST by duckbutt (Those who pay no taxes have no check on their appetite for services.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: cva66snipe

You got dentures for $300 to $400s and they work nearly perfectly? I would have guessed thousands by now. I remember my Grandma’s dentures were not real fun for her. Isn’t it hard to eat many foods, and don’t they slip around and even come out on their own every so often? I know someone that may benefit from your info.


37 posted on 11/11/2012 6:09:09 PM PST by Bellflower (The LORD is Holy, separated from all sin, perfect, righteous, high and lifted up.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Bellflower
You got dentures for $300 to $400s and they work nearly perfectly? I would have guessed thousands by now. I remember my Grandma’s dentures were not real fun for her. Isn’t it hard to eat many foods, and don’t they slip around and even come out on their own every so often? I know someone that may benefit from your info.

I've had store boughts for about 20 years and I sure don't miss my teeth. I went to a Denture Clinic for extractions. {shop around check customer reviews etc first}. Two reasons for clinics it's cheaper and the dentist specializes in pulling teeth and stays in practice at it LOL. I don't buy the most expensive ones I usually buy one grade above bottom price. This is my third set. First set I would buy the cheapest {temporary dentures} as the gums shrink somewhat. Denture Clinics are also much more experienced in doing the mold impressions and the best part is the fitting adjustments are done there on the spot. No leaving them somewhere for a few days.

In about 8-10 trips you can get them all out. Obviously start with doing either upper or lower first in entirety.

As for fit and staying in? Plastics and adhesives have came a long way. I use Zinc Free Poligrip in a tube also free of color and flavor. I do enjoy steak :>} My daughter is a Dental Tech and she says mine look natural.

38 posted on 11/11/2012 9:09:16 PM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson