Can't afford the trip to the dentist? You're not alone. Many Americans don't have access to basic oral care simply because they don't have the money to pay for out of pocket expenses. In 2007, about 100 million Americans did not visit the dentist, according to the American Dental Association. Even with individual dental insurance, patients are still burdened by higher out-of-pocket expenses in part because traditional dental insurance benefits haven't changed in 20 years. Whether you have traditional dental insurance or no insurance at all, you may wonder whether it is worth the high price to see the dentist.
The answer is yes. Along with practicing good oral hygiene, visiting the dentist at least once a year is a crucial part of protecting your oral health. Untreated dental issues can lead to major dental problems, including tooth decay and gum disease. In addition, your oral health can also affect or contribute to other diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.
But there is good news. The dental industry today has more payment options than ever before, making it easier for patients to have access to quality oral health and a beautiful smile. Patients can choose from various dental coverage plans, ranging from discount plans to combined dental and vision plans. With a larger selection of plans to choose from, Americans can easily find a plan that meets their unique dental needs as well as their budget. Most dental offices now accept cash, personal checks and credit cards. Some even offer financing options.
There is no way around it -- early detection and treatment of dental issues will prevent gum disease and other oral health problems. Access to quality oral health starts with a personal dental insurance plan that meets your needs. Ensure a lifetime of good oral and overall health by visiting the dentist on a regular basis.