For some the thought of going to the dentist evokes fear and avoidance. They do not like the sound of the drill, the heat, having injections in their mouths, even having general anesthesia for some procedures. What happens next can really hurt for those without dental insurance. The high cost of cleanings, x-rays and checkups quickly mounts into hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars. Yet routine dental checkups and cleanings are imperative for sound dental health as well as overall well being. First things first. Let’s discuss how to take the scary out of a trip to the dentist, then some sound advice about where to find low cost dental care.
For the dental-phobic it is especially important to find a practitioner that they can trust. Over the last decade, dental schools have taught communication skills and how to handle patient anxiety issues. This means that patients can establish an understanding with their dentist and know they will not be humiliated, instead that their condition will be recognized and accommodated. How to find such a paragon? Make a list of questions to ask and write down the names of local practitioners. Friends and local family members are also good sources for referrals. Then start calling. If the staff or dentist does not respond well to questions, keep moving down the list until the best candidate has been found.
How to Take the Scary Out of a Dental Visit
Some dental offices offer relaxation therapy. Or the jitters can be calmed by practicing yoga or breathing techniques just before an appointment. For obvious reasons, it is not advisable to take tranquilizers or alcoholic beverages before seeing the dentist. As for pain relief, there are numerous options today. Nitrous oxide is safe and effective. Its effects wear off within minutes. Sedatives are also a popular option, however, these require a designated driver post-procedure.
Depending on the procedure, local or even general anesthesia are available. For those who are apprehensive to the sound of the drill, there is a laser and water process called WaterlaseTM, which is effective for treating root canals and cavities. For those for whom the sound and heat of the drill causes concern, make locating a dental practitioner with a WaterlaseTM system a priority. Can’t stand the needle prick? Many dentists will rub lidocaine on gums to dull the momentary sting, while other practitioners opt for OraqixTM which eliminates the need for an injection altogether.
The future of eliminating pain at the dentist looks bright. In the near future a plasma brush may become available. It utilizes chemical reactions to remove decay, and may banish drill use entirely in many dental offices. So it looks as though the unnerving aspects of routine dental care have or are being eliminated. That leaves the sticker shock that many without dental insurance or access to low cost dental care when presented with their bill for services. Two dental cleanings, a round of X-rays and a dental checkup can easily amount to over $600 per person. For a family of four that is $2400!
Many who have dental insurance opt for it through their employers. A given amount is deducted from each paycheck and banked against dental fees for services at a later time. However, family dental insurance can take a sizable chunk from each paycheck, and there is no way to know if the family will use all of the money banked for dental services in a given year. Add co-pays and a cap on visits, as well as annual ceiling on expenditures. That is money that might be better used if put toward day-to-day household expenses. Also few dental insurance policies cover procedures performed by dental specialists, such as braces, root canals, and crowns. Even for those with access to dental insurance, it may not always be the affordable solution to a family’s dental care requirements.
Low Cost Dental Care Anyone Can Afford
For more and more Americans, the answer to the high cost of maintaining their dental health has been the alternative to dental insurance, the dental plan. Dental plans such as EDP Dental Plans, are not dental insurance. Instead, they offer their members discounted services through an extensive network of qualified dental practitioners. These discounts can be substantial, up to 60% off the dentist’s regular prices. Every practitioner has met EDP’s stringent requirements to qualify. In fact, many members have been pleased to learn that their current family dentist is part of the EDP Dental Plan network. There are no co-pays, no waiting periods, no age limits, and no limit to the number of dental visits members can have each year.
Here’s how it works. There are three EDP Dental Plans, for singles, couples and families. The membership fee may be paid in its entirety upfront, or billed incrementally in monthly installments. This option makes quality, low cost dental care more affordable for everyone. Next, select a dentist and call or go online to make an appointment. It is that simple. Should a dental procedure beyond cleanings and routine maintenance be required, EDP plan members have the peace of mind knowing that their specialist fees will be discounted by 25%. In addition to general dentists, the EDP Dental Plan gives our members access to a variety of dental specialists including Pedodontists, Maxillofacial specialists, Periodontists, Prosthodontists, Endodontists, Oral surgeons, and Orthodontists. For more information or to enroll, please contact us at (800) 777-1085.