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Save Money at the Dentist’s Office

Reader’s Digest

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 can save you up to 60 percent on dental procedures.

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