I was laid off from my job last year and used up a lot of my savings before I got a new job. In my new job, I’m considered an independent contractor so there’s no insurance provided, either medical or dental so I’m on my own. I’ve had a rough go lately and am sure I have some cavities. Plus, I think the stress has caused me to start clenching or grinding my teeth because my jaw hurts every morning. Is there a way to get affordable care without insurance?
You’ve been through quite a rough patch but it seems like things are starting to look back up for you. I know it’s hard when you don’t have dental insurance, but I want to steer you against just price shopping. There is an important difference between affordable dentistry and cheap dentistry.
When a dentist is unusually cheaper than other dentists there is usually a reason and one you won’t be thrilled with. One common reason for cheap prices is when a dentist is not good at their job and cannot retain clients, therefore they keep their prices super low in order to draw in new patients.
Another way they get their prices so low is by purchasing sub-par materials to make up their profit margin. Often, the procedure fails but not for months after it was completed. Unfortunately, the patient will have no idea it was because of the material the dentist used, so they end up spending more money.
Ways to Get Affordable Dentistry
You can do an internet search using the term “affordable dentist“. This won’t necessarily mean they are cheap, but they do their best to help patients get the care they need. Some will do payment plans through Care Credit. Others have discounts if you use cash.
You can purchase insurance plans without a company. They vary in price but are rarely more than $50 a month. Be aware that many have a waiting period for certain procedures, so if you are going to go that route make sure you do it sooner rather than later.
Teeth Clenching & Grinding
You are likely right about the teeth clenching and grinding. This needs to be dealt with. Fortunately, there is an easy solution. Your dentist can make you a custom-fitted mouth guard. This will protect your teeth from these actions, even while you are sleeping.
This is a serious issue. Not only can this habit lead to TMJ Disorder, but you can also crack your teeth (requiring a dental crown) or loosen them, putting them at risk of coming out.
This blog is brought to you by Lexington Dentist Dr. John Weaver.