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All Dental Topics,Prevention and saving money

Saving money

14 Sep , 2015  

Saving money with prevention

By far the easiest way to save money is to prevent dental problems before they arise. After all, you don’t have to pay for a problem you don’t have. However, many people have the habit of visiting their dentists only when a problem arises in their mouth. Often when pain brings you to the dentist you are faced with one of 2 options; a costly root canal or a tooth removal. Regular dental visits are crucial for maintaining a good and effective dentition for all age groups as it allows your dentist to diagnose and treat a cavity before you experience any symptoms and before you are in need of a root canal or tooth removal

Follow these simple steps to keep your teeth and gums healthy (prevention saving money):

  • Brush twice daily (use a soft toothbrush!), especially once before bedtime. Make sure that all the surfaces (outer, inner and chewing surface) of teeth and gum are cleaned for effective plaque removal.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste and after brushing spit the toothpaste out. Avoid rinsing the paste from your mouth after brushing as this will wash the fluoride away from your teeth.
  • Floss or use inter-dental brushes once daily to clean between your teeth (floss the teeth you want to keep).
  • Avoid eating sugary, sticky and acidic foods and drinks in between meals.
  • Eat a wide variety of nutritious foods.
  • Visit your dentist for regular check-ups. Your dentist can spot and stop any problems with your teeth and gums at the early stages before you experience any symptoms.
  • Visit you dental hygienist or dentist for regular dental hygiene cleans.

Saving money by utilising web deals

Various daily deal websites like Treatme or Grabone offer dental deals for heavily discounted dental services. These deals can be great however we also recommend you take the time to consider:

  • The experience of the dental practitioner (a new graduate dentist vs a dentist with 10 years plus of experience)
  • Time allowed for the service (will treatment be rushed, less thorough)
  • Practice fees (are the fees what you expect should you need other work completed i.e is it a high end, average, or cheap dental practice)

Saving money with interest free offers

Many dentists are now offering interest free deals through finance companies such as GE Money’s GEM Visa, Fisher & Paykel’s Q card and SBS Bank’s Finance Now. Most interest free options are only available for expenses in excess of a few hundred dollars. You are charged an admin fee and can be required to make small monthly repayments until the interest free term expires. However, once that interest free term expires you will need to repay the remaining balance to avoid very high interest charges. This is a great option if you are strapped for cash at the time of treatment, but if you are not able to complete payment before the interest free term expires, then it can become very expensive! Things to consider:

  • Are you able to complete payment at the end of the interest free term.
  • The dental practice’s that offer the longest interest free periods.
  • Are the prices reasonable or are they higher because they offer this benefit.

Saving money with insurance

Traditionally most people only had medical insurance which had the benefit of covering ‘Impacted wisdom teeth’ removal by a specialist. Now a few insurance companies are offering basic dental treatment cover such as NIB and Southern Cross.

For dental insurance to be beneficial you need to consider:

  • How often you require dental treatment i.e an exam and clean a year can cost you $250, an exam, clean and filling can cost $550
  • Amount of dollars the insurance company will contribute vs your insurance subscription fees.

For example, the NIB Mid-Everyday cover pays up to $950 a year for dental treatment. The cover is for 60 per cent on claims, so $40 in every $100 of treatment is paid by you the policyholder. So if your treatment was $950 you would save $570. The yearly subscription for this insurance is approximately $497, so you would benefit by $73. You do have the added benefits of 60% on claims to the physio, GP and optometrist with this policy. Although, it would leave you at a disadvantage if you didn’t always require $950 of dental work each year. An examination, X-rays and 2 dental cleans a year would only amount to approximately $400-$500 a year. This is where you can look at NIB’s basic everyday cover which will cost you $260 a year for saving you 60% of $500 of dental  treatment. NIB’s basic policy also offers physio, optometrist and GP benefits.

Saving money by heading on a dental holiday

Dental holidays abroad, or travelling to another country where dental costs are considerably less, can save you money despite the cost of flights. However, buyer beware, it can be very risky.

Take into consideration:

  • Dentist and dental technicians qualifications.
  • Dental materials used. Quality materials will have a better longevity.
  • Technology available. Is the correct diagnosis and treatment plan achievable. Can a high quality procedure be carried out.
  • Sterilisation and cross infection protocols. The New Zealand Dental Council has a very high standard sterilisation protocol to avoid blood borne disease transmission.
  • What happens if something goes wrong. Unfortunately poor dental work can be irreversible, costly and can sometimes only be identified months to years later as symptoms progress. For example:

To find a dentist near you please visit www.fillinggaps.co.nz or feel free to ask us a dental question on www.fillinggaps.co.nz/blog


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