March 1, 2012 | Walencia Konrad
An estimated 40 percent of Americans don’t have dental insurance, and those who do often pay a hefty portion of the bill out of pocket. These tips can help drill down the costs.
Try a dental school. Dental students supervised by professionals can do almost any procedure for as little as a third of the regular price. Your appointment may take longer, but the risk of extra pain or subpar results is minimal.
Request a payment plan. If you ask, many dentists will allow you to pay for treatments monthly, interest free.
Stagger treatments. A temporary reconstruction can last six months or more, giving you time to save for a permanent one. Extend major dental work from the end of one year to the beginning of the next to allow charges to carry over to the next billing cycle.
Consider a discount plan. No dental insurance? Low-cost networks such as DentalPlans.com can save you up to 60 percent on dental procedures.