Your benefits package from work probably includes dental insurance. With this valuable coverage, you can access regular preventative care and dental procedures that protect your smile and health. Your dental insurance coverage may not extend to your spouse, children or other dependents, though. Consider several affordable ways you can meet your family’s dental needs and protect their health, too.
Purchase Private Dental Insurance
Research private insurance companies that offer dental insurance, and choose one that offers the dental care your dependents need. With this option, you can save money by choosing a policy with a higher deductible or a limited number of in-network dentists.
Find Group Dental Insurance
Certain organizations like AARP, Costco and the Veterans Administration offer group dental insurance for members. In most cases, these options are affordable because numerous members purchase coverage.
Choose a Discount Dental Plan
As an alternative to private or group dental insurance, participate in a discount dental plan. Pay an annual fee that allows your loved ones to access a dental network that offers numerous preventative and other dental services, such as cleanings, orthodontia, root canals and cosmetic dentistry, at reduced rates.
You could choose to pay only for the dental services your family members receive. When you pay out-of-pocket, you may be able to negotiate with the dentist and receive a discount for services.
Visit a Dental School
A local dental school often offers free or reduced cost dental services. Students perform the procedures under supervision, and you save money.
Find a Dental Clinic
Dental clinics provide a variety of oral care services for adults and children who don’t have insurance. Search the U.S. Department of Health & Human Service website to find a clinic near you.
Take Care of Your Teeth
While regular cleanings are important for oral health, your family members will also want to maintain good daily oral hygiene. Reduce bacteria, plaque, gum inflammation, cavities and decay when they:
- Brush at least twice a day.
- Floss daily.
- Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash in the morning.
- Rinse with a fluoridated mouthwash in the evening.
Tips to Choose the Best Option
To choose the most affordable dental care option for your loved ones’ needs, compare the annual cost of their dental services to the amount you would pay for a private, group or discount plan. Then be sure the coverage is right for them when you check details like the plan’s:
- Maximum yearly benefit
- Availability, location and customer reviews of covered dentists
- Coverage restrictions that may limit your ability to get fluoride treatments, sealants or orthodontia
- Restricted coverage for pre-existing conditions
Even without dental insurance, your family has affordable options that protect their health. For more assistance, talk to your insurance agent.