Consumer Reports: How to see the dentist without insurance
With the rising cost of healthcare, many people -- especially seniors -- may find themselves skipping dental visits. And Medicare doesn't cover routine dental services. However, Consumer Reports says there are a number of ways for you to get the care you need without it taking a huge bite out of your budget.
If you're looking for a way to cover or lower the costs of dental care and treatment, Donna Rosato, of Consumer Reports, says buying private dental insurance is ONE option -- but it can be costly and often comes with a cap. A lot of private insurance only covers so much and you can still be on the hook for thousands of dollars out of pocket.
Another insurance option is a Dental HMO, which will cover things like routine cleanings and offer discounts on other procedures. You could also join a dental savings plan which costs about $100 per year for an individual or $250 for a family. A dental savings plan isn't health insurance, but it does connect you to a network of dentists who have agreed to provide discounts on their services.
Consumer Reports says you can also negotiate with your dentist to see if they can offer you a lower price. Or contact a dental school to see if they offer discounted services.
But your best bet for keeping hefty dental bills at bay is practicing good oral hygiene at home -- brushing your teeth twice a day, using soft bristles to brush, fluoride toothpaste, fluoride mouth rinse. Dentists also recommend cutting back on sugary foods and acidic drinks like soda that can erode the enamel on your teeth.
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