HOW TO SAVE MONEY

1- Prevention.

Prevention is by far the best way to save money regarding dental care. How could you possibly save more money on a root canal than if you didn't get to the point where needed the treatment in the first place.
Prevention starts with good oral hygiene. Brushing at least twice a day and the use of dental floss will prevent 90% of all dental problems.


Prevention also means visiting the dentist on a regular basis. Six-month checkups will allow your dentist to often diagnose problems in their early stages. This can, for example, mean a small inexpensive filling rather than a root canal and a build up and a crown. Dental neglect will invariably lead to more costly and lengthy dental treatment


Insurance companies are well aware of this fact and it is why their coverage plans often pay 100% for preventative care.


2- Shop around.

While many dental offices tend to base their fees on the Québec dental Association fee guide you may find great differences in fees from one office to another. Some dentists prefer to set their fees higher in order to see less patients and generate more income. Often these dentists recommend a "my way or the highway" treatment plan to their patients (see #3 below) some will refuse to see what they call undesirable patients such as welfare patients or children.


3- Is there more than one way to fix it?

A few years ago Reader's Digest conducted a study where patients were sent to several offices in order to have their mouth examined and to obtain an estimate for all their required dental care. The results of this study shocked the dental community. Differences were not only found in regards to fees but also in terms of the recommended treatment from one dentist to another. While it is true that there is often more than one way to skin a cat some practitioners recommended only ONE treatment plan to their patients: the most expensive one


If you have complex dental problems or a combination of problems (crowded teeth, missing teeth, cosmetic concerns, etc.) there will often be more than one way to treat. Make sure that your dentist not only tell you what the best treatment plan is but if there is also alternative treatment plans to correct your problems.



4- Generalist VS Specialist

A specialist is a general practitioner which has followed an additional training in a specific field of dentistry. The most common specialists are orthodontists (braces), endodontists (root canals), periodontists (gum treatment), maxillofacial surgeons and prosthodontists (crowns, bridges and removable dentures).


While it may sometimes be required to send you to see a specialist when the complexity of a treatment surpasses a generalists ability, some dentists or dental offices don't provide certain types of care. If your dentist doesn't do root canals he may refer ALL of the root canals to an endodontist. The problem here lies not only in the fact that you will be referred elsewhere to have your treatment done but that it will also be much more expensive. For example the cost for a root canal on a front tooth is approximately $400 when being treated by a generalist but maybe as high as $800 when the care is provided by a specialist.

5-Warranty on dental care.


It is often impossible to predict the outcome of treatment and this is why we can not guarantee the success of any given treatment. However this doesn't mean that we can't offer you a limited warranty on the treatment that we provide. In many dental offices if the treatment goes bad such as your new filling breaks or your root canal fails it's just tough luck for you, you'll have to pay for it again. We like to stand behind our work and therefore offer a limited three year warranty on nearly all of the treatment we provide. For more details ask us for a copy of our written three year limited dental warranty.


6- Tax savings

Did you know that dental care is often tax-deductible? If the dental treatment you or your family received in any given year surpasses 3% of your annual income you may apply this as a tax-deductible expense on your income tax. For more information visit this link : www.aftertaxes.ca/comparededuction.html


7-For those with dental insurance:

A-Use it

It amazes me to see how many people pay for dental insurance and don't take advantage of it. Most insurance plans cover on a year-to-year basis. This means a maximum amount is allowed for one given year and is renewed the following year. However whatever is not used may not be applied to the following year. Basically this means "use it or lose it". The best way to take advantage of your dental insurance is to come in for regular preventative visits. Most insurance companies cover preventative fees at 100%.

B-For major work split the cost between plan years.

If you need extensive dental work ask your dentist if it's possible to start the work in December and finish it in January. As mentioned above most insurance plans cover on a year-to-year basis and the year is usually renewable every January. So let's say that you have $3000 of dental work needed but your maximum for these services is $2000 annually. By starting the work in December and completing it in January you could get all your dental work done in a short period of time without maxing out your coverage.