Taking Care of Your Smile

Dental Pain Without Insurance

Have you ever woken up one day to realize you needed some dental work done but didn't have insurance? This happened to my husband last year and it's something we never want to go through again.

My husband hadn't had dental insurance in years and because of it, he wasn't going for cleanings. When he saw an advertisement for a free first visit from a nearby dentist, he went to see how much it would be to completely restore his mouth. After his exam and x-rays, they told him he needed two wisdom teeth extracted, he needed about twelve fillings and he needed a deep cleaning. When they gave us the final estimate, it was around $5,000 to get his mouth healthy again.

Affording the Dental Problem

Since we didn't have dental insurance at the time, I used CareCredit to pay for his dental work. But even if you don't have dental insurance, there is a much better way than having to go into major debt.

Most people don't realize that dental insurance has a cap to how much they will pay. So even if we had dental insurance, their cap would have been lower than the amount my husband needed to fix his teeth. So that means he wouldn't have been able to get all the work done anyway. Dental insurance isn't a wonderful option if you need major restorative work done.

So, what do you do? My suggestion to everyone is to use a dental discount plan. You can use it as a standalone or even to supplement your current insurance. I love DentalPlans.com because there is no waiting, no health restrictions, and you can find a plan based on your dentist and the kind of work you need done. When I first went to their site, I was able to pull up our family dentist and see the plans she took. Then I was able to compare those plans to see where I would get the most savings (they even have a savings calculator to help with that). You can even download/view a full fee schedule for each plan in your member’s area so if you have an estimate from your dentist with all the codes on it, you can see where you will get the most savings. I would recommend you also call before going, just to confirm.

What’s Working for Us

Right now, we have the Careington Care 500 Series plan, which has the best savings for our family. How DentalPlans.com works is they partner with reputable networks (think Cigna, Humana, Aetna, and others) to sell dental discount plans. So, as long as you go to a dentist in their network, you can get discounted prices for dental work, saving on pretty much every visit, and anywhere from 10-60% on most dental procedures. Your plan’s fee schedule which will show all the discounted fees for procedures. Like for a normal cleaning on the Careington Care 500 Series plan, it may only cost $15. So, when you go to the dentist, you will identify yourself by your plan and what is shown on the fee schedule for your procedure code will be exactly what you pay. There aren't any hidden fees and you only pay once a year for your plan. I imagine, with larger procedures like crowns, root canals, and even braces, you would save even more. Regardless of the dental work you need, with just one or two dental visits, your savings could far outweigh the low cost of your plan. If you select a family plan, you can add everyone in your household regardless of age and the best part is, they have no cap or annual limit on how much your dental work will be. So, if your estimate is $5,000, you will probably be able to save quite a bit or on all of it!

Saving on Dental is Possible

If you don't have dental insurance, I highly implore you to check out DentalPlans.com. In my opinion, they are much better than having dental insurance and all the prices are clear cut. Unlike insurance, there aren't any surprises with them and their customer service is amazing too. They really want to make sure members are happy. Signing up was so easy and effortless and NO paperwork hassles.

Make sure to watch for my next post in August where I share about going to the dentist while using my DentalPlans.com plan so you can see the savings firsthand!