With Doctors somehow connecting oral health to other health issues like diabetes, oral health is very important to our overall health as humans.
However, you may not have dental care insurance through work, and you might be hesitant because of the cost. Canadian research shows that in the last year, 22.4% avoided booking dental care because of the cost.
22.4% of Canadian population is over six million, that is to say that people with the worst dental care that could go all through their lives without getting dental care.
Another research shows that about $12 billion are being spent annually on dental care in Canada. However, there is still when accessing oral health care, with the poor being on the wrong side of the divide.
According to Dr. Paul Allison, dean of the faculty of dentistry at McGill University in Montreal, “The system is really not working and it’s only going to get worse unless we act.”
Additionally, most dental care in the country is private, either based on employer merits, or personal funding. The number of people with this private funded dental care keeps reducing with the aging population.
However, there are a few options for those of us who can’t afford the premium dental care. This article features the best dental solutions for low-income families.
1). Dental schools
According to Hoffman, one of the easiest ways to find cheap dental care, is to visit a clinic that is affiliated to a dental school. At dental schools, dental students gain hands-on and practical experience, and their dental services are at lower prices.
A very good example of a clinic associated with a dental school is the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine.
Here, the standard fee for cleanings is $25, however, on free admitting days, adults are offered free exams and X-rays.
Additionally, on every other day, dental services are available at relatively lower prices, compared to the market dental care rate. For example, emergency visits cost an initial fee of $27 and treatment services cost $85 to $115.
Note that, the services of a dental school clinic is not open to everyone. With most being only open for specific dental conditions.
2). Government programs
It would interest you to know that although private health insurance doesn’t usually include dental services. However, there are government programs that do.
For example, Medicaid is a government program that offers dental coverage for both adults and children.
Dental coverage for children being the same nationwide, while that for adults vary depending on state, with reports, suggesting some states don’t offer coverage for adults.
In Canada, most dental care services are private, with general oral health not included in the Canada Health Act.
However, there are a few government programs that offer dental coverage. These services differ depending on your province. You can contact your public health unit to be sure about the services they offer in your community.
3). Discount cards
There are a few dental practices that offer discount cards available for dental care. To get access to participating dentists, you will be charged a monthly or annual fee. A notable example is, Carefree Dental.
Carefree Dental offers cardholders room to save up to 50% off dental care services, like cleanings and X-rays with a $15.95 per month card.
Another example is the Careington Dental. Here, the discount plan involves a $9.95 per month family card.
Allowing its participants to save 20% to 50% on most dental services.
Although the amount you save can vary by location, owning a careington discount card would mean adults pay $52 for cleanings, composite fillings, $91, and porcelain crown, $742.
4). Membership plans
Some dental care platforms have membership plans that come with interesting discount packages. You subscribe to a membership plan and you get a discount.
Dave Monahan, CEO of Kleer, a platform where dentists can create their membership plan. He had something to say about membership plans. “It’s cheaper for patients and more profitable for dentists,” he says.
At Kleer, the monthly plan per person starts at $25, with every plan consisting of 2 cleanings per year. Including a 20 percent discount on additional services offered by most dentists.
Note that different costs and benefits may apply for membership plans offered through other platforms.
5). Nonprofit programs
Another option for affordable dental care is nonprofit programs like local community service organizations.
This way, low-income families are connected to dentists donating services through these nonprofit programs. And there are quite a number of them.
Smiles Change Lives is an example of such programs. Here, they connect families with children that need braces to dentists donating braces services. However, it is open to all families.
For example, a family of four earning $50, 200, would be eligible. In other words, families earning less than 200 percent of the poverty level are not eligible.
However, eligibility varies by state and might require some financial commitment from parents.
Another of such programs is the Dental Lifeline Network. Here, senior, disabled and medically fragile adults are assisted by coordinating a network of dentists providing donated dental care. .
6). Dental tourism
Dental tourism is another option for low income families. Touring is never a bad idea, albeit touring for dental care.
Leaving your country to find affordable dental care is known as dental tourism. Costa Rica and Mexico are good touring options for those living in Canada or the US.
In Mexico, the cost for many dental care procedures is 80 to 90 percent cheaper than the cost in Canada.
For example, the cost of root canals and crowns in Mexico is only $250, which is way lower than the thousands charged in Canada.
To make this option even easier, some companies coordinate dental care for travelers. Some of these companies include; Patients Without Borders and Dental Departures.
Note that dental regulations may not be the same in all countries. Therefore, it is advisable that you carry out the necessary research on the country before traveling for dental care. In some cases, knowing the prices alone isn’t enough.
You need to research on in-country industry regulations, and possible options available in case of any mishaps or complications.
With the emergence and development of technology with every passing year, it is only fair to predict teledentistry taking over the affordable dental care train. This is the future of affordable dental care, especially when it is an emergency.
According to Gary Wald, CEO of Teledentists, “People have two main concerns: the pain and how much [treatment] is going to cost,”.
With teledentistry, patients no longer need to travel far distances for affordable dental care.
A video call with a dental professional is all the patient might need to get an immediate assessment and directions to address the issues.
The consultation determines the next step in the process. If needed, prescriptions can be sent electronically to a qualified drug store or pharmacy.
According to Wald, 60 to 65 percent of people will need to visit a dentist. The TeleDentists can make referrals to an affordable dentist, using its a large network. Additionally, TeleDentists have a discount package for follow-up services.
Note that Teledentistry services are not directly available to consumers yet.
It may be coming in the future, however, in the meantime, get urgent care, or an emergency room. These are firms that have partnered with TeleDentists.
For patients, pricing per consultation could be higher than the $65 wholesale price.
With these options for low-income families, you no longer need to stay away from dental care. You no longer need to carry that bad dental issue.
Choose any of these options that work for you and help reduce the percentage of the world’s population with no dental care ser