Everyone wants to save money, and dental treatment is another avenue where people are looking to save as much as possible. Unfortunately, many people try to save money on the dentist by avoiding treatment altogether. Avoiding preventative care and proper treatment can actually lead to even higher costs in the long run, as the issues requiring treatment will typically worsen over time.
Rather than avoiding treatment, it’s best to be proactive and visit the dentist at least once a year. Here’s a collection of helpful tips if you’re looking to save some money on your annual or bi-annual visit.
Discount Dental Work at Dental Schools
If you’re looking for a creative way to receive discounted dental treatment, why not book an appointment at one of your local dental schools? While this can be an easy way to save big on treatment, there are both pros and cons.
On the plus side, dental students providing discounted treatment are supervised by licensed professionals. At the very least, they’ll be receiving expert judgement before making any major decisions with respect to your treatment. And because they’re being supervised by their superiors, they’ll likely take extra care to make sure they give you absolutely perfect treatment– to the best of their ability. And while you may want to save serious procedures for the real professionals, routine procedures like simple cleanings, preventative x-rays, or quick sealants may be perfectly adequate when performed by a student.
On the negative side, you shouldn’t trust more serious treatments in the hand of a medical student. Despite supervision from licensed dentists, there’s nothing you can do to prevent sloppy treatment. Treatments will be slower, potentially more painful if performed incorrectly, and they may not offer the type of treatment that you need. Dental schools also don’t typically have repeat patients, so it’s more difficult to roll out scheduled treatment plans that are specifically tailored to your needs.
In a similar vein, many schools also offer free or discounted treatment if you are willing to act as a participant in an experimental study, if you can find a study that sufficiently covers your dental needs.
Pay in Advance for Dental treatment
Many dental firms will offer discounted dental treatment if you pay for your full treatment in advance. Dentists would rather receive the entire payment up front rather than spreading the payment over several months or years, and they’re often willing to give a significant discount for it.
For example, at Vitality Dental, we offer a 5% discount to patients who pay for their entire treatment in advance (for treatments over £2500). For VitalityPlan members, we offer an additional 2.5% discount for those who pay in advance. For Invisalign clear braces, that would result in an immediate savings of £220. If you’re able to afford the full upfront payment, it’s typically a no-brainer.
Private dental practices may also offer interest-free payment plans that ease the burden of paying for expensive treatments. For example, Vitality Dental offers interest-free credit for up to 12 months on treatment plans over £1500.
This may be obvious to some, but in many cases, dental insurance can be your best bet with regards to saving money on dental treatment. Dental insurance is most effective in cases when your required dental coverage goes well beyond routine check-ups. While the upfront costs of dental insurance are often a barrier for some people, the savings can accumulate when you’re in need of significant non-elective coverage.
Cosmetic treatments like teeth whitening and orthodontics are often not covered by dental insurance, so you won’t always see savings across the board. One additional major downside to dental insurance plans is that they will only offer a discount on coverage up until a certain amount. For example, an insurance plan will typically have a structure where they cover a certain percentage of treatment up to a fixed amount, e.g. 50% of all dental treatment up until £2000. Therefore, if you seek significant coverage, dental insurance may not be the best route for you.
Membership Plans for Private Dentistry: VitalityPlan
Membership plans are an ideal way to save money on dental treatment if you plan on receiving all of your dental treatment from the same private practice. If you’re seeking quality, affordable dental care from a private dental practice in West Sussex, the VitalityPlan may be the best way to save money on dental treatment.
Here’s how the VitalityPlan works: If you’re an adult over the age of 18, you pay a small monthly fee starting at £13.50 per month. That totals up to £162 over the course of a year. As a member of the VitalityPlan, you are entitled to one fully comprehensive dental health check that covers 14 different aspects of your oral health. This includes thorough clinical examination, a detailed inspection of your gums, a full oral cancer check, and x-rays. If purchased separately, this would be valued at £90.
You’ll also receive a fully personalised dental health treatment plan, which will determine the ideal number of oral hygiene visits that you should receive in a year.
The main perk of the VitalityPlan is that it opens up a 15% discount on all treatment fees, with the exception of sedation, Invisalign braces and implant-related services. What kind of savings does this offer? On a £798 crown, inlay, or veneer, that’s a savings of £120 each.
The plan also includes worldwide dental insurance that will protect you against the high costs of any unexpected emergency dental treatment that you could possibly incur when travelling abroad.
As you can see, on top of the initial savings, these additional savings quickly pile up. Whether you’re purchasing the VitalityPlan because you already know you need significant dental treatment, or you want to safeguard against the possibility of needing expensive emergency treatment, there are a multitude of reasons for signing up for the plan.