Few things interrupt proper access to dental care like myths and urban legends; steering people away from valuable, routine health visits. The internet puts more health information at our fingertips than we can process. On one hand, it can be extremely helpful. Knowledge is power and having access to accurate health information can help patients and practitioners alike identify potential problems and explore solutions quickly and effectively.
The drawback, however, is that so little of the information available is solid and verifiable.
The problem with muddied information goes beyond confusion related to symptoms, diagnoses, costs and treatment options. Here are three common misconceptions about dental care costs to help you decipher fact from fiction.
Read More: Diagnosing Yourself: To WebMD or Not WebMD?
Myth #1: Insurance is the only option.
With the Affordable Care Act and related regulations being enforced in recent years, health insurance has become a widely discussed topic. In some ways, the sheer volume of information available about health insurance has actually reduced the amount of reliable information you can find on the subject.
One myth that seems to prevail, however, is that buying dental insurance coverage is the only acceptable option to maintain your oral health.
The truth? Insurance is not your only option for dental care.
When considering dental coverage, it’s important to remember it’s not included in most state and federally-funded insurance programs like Medicaid for adults, and most health insurance plans do not automatically include dental coverage. Based on your income and other circumstances, you may receive a tax credit toward the cost of dental care premiums, but many people will not.
Still, caring for your oral health is vital to your overall health. So, what other options are there besides insurance?
Myth #2: Dental care is far too expensive to pay for out-of-pocket.
Hearing horror stories from people who went to the dentist for a cleaning and ended up with thousands of dollars in bills for unknown issues, it’s understandable why many people are scared away from the possibility of paying out-of-pocket for dental care even though they need it.
They might convince themselves it’s not that important, or their tooth doesn’t hurt that much when the core problem is they assume they won’t be able to afford it.
Comparing costs, it’s safe to say that standard preventive care, including a routine cleaning, examination, and x-rays, is far less expensive than emergency care required if dental problems progress without diagnosis and treatment. It’s also important to remember that, just like your primary care doctor, your dentist can often detect serious health conditions during a standard exam.
Even the most expensive dental examination costs pale in comparison to treatment for diabetes, oral cancer, heart disease, and many other serious conditions that can be caught early by your dentist.
Myth #3: Truly valuable dental discounts don’t exist.
Going hand-in-hand with the thought that dental care must be prohibitively expensive, the belief that quality discount options don’t exist can stunt headway toward routine care. For individuals and families without dental insurance, it can be exceptionally helpful to explore legitimate discount plan options to cut costs.
Dental Solutions, as an example, offers up to 50% off the normal out-of-pocket cost of dental services at a monthly cost significantly less than what most dental insurance premiums will cost. Considering that there is no cap on benefits, no up front deductible, and no copays, an average person who has routine cleanings or minimal dental work in a year can save a lot of money with this route as opposed to paying more for insurance and only obtaining partial coverage.
While research can help you make informed decisions and empower you when it comes to your health, it’s also important to be able to spot some common myths and misconceptions that could be costing you money, and even preventing you from protecting your health over time.