Family dentistry is an important part of keeping your family healthy. But one of the worst things that can happen at the dentist office is that your dentist lets you know that you or a family member needs a treatment you cannot afford. But there are several options to consider if you find yourself in this difficult situation.
Could You Increase Your Dental Insurance Coverage?
Sometimes you can easily solve this issue by raising your dental insurance limits. You might have a several thousand dollar maximum on your current dental plan, which isn't enough if you need several root canals or dental implants. But you have to weigh the costs of committing to a more expensive dental plan for the next year with the out-of-pocket costs that you would incur without better insurance.
Have You Asked for a Payment Plan or a Discount?
Dentists may be willing to work with you to spread out the due dates of payments. Some are willing to reduce the costs of treatment if you can show that your financial situation is dire.
Can You Get Approved for a Line of Credit?
There are a few different credit options to think about too. One is to get a healthcare credit card that you can use for medical and dental expenses. You may be extended a loan by one of these companies as an alternative. And it's never too late to start a health savings account so that you can use untaxed income to pay for medical expenses.
What Issues Need Fixing the Most?
Finally, if you have consulted these resources, you might have raised some money to finance your dental needs. But if you were unsuccessful, or the amount you received is not enough, consider what the most urgent dental problems are and get those fixed first. Your dentist can help you with this by letting you know the potential consequences of leaving other dental problems untreated.
If it's something like a dental abscess or other infectious issues, this is a dental emergency and it shouldn't be avoided at all. If you are looking at the expense of several fillings, then try to fill the biggest cavities first for the biggest effect overall on your health. Issues that are mainly cosmetic should fall towards the bottom of the scale in terms of things to worry about.
Basically, when you hear that you have a family dental issue, there's often no need to panic yet. You still have many sources of sympathetic healthcare allies to turn to, and your dentist may already have the answer for you.