I had two emergency patients come in this past week and both said the same thing, "Doc, I haven't been to the dentist for years because I don't have insurance."
I wrote a similar blog about 5 years ago but I felt that I need to say a number of things regarding not having dental insurance. I wrote similar things in my blog back then but because this happens so often I felt that I need to write again on this subject so that if someone is not going to see the dentist because they don't have dental insurance, maybe they will read this and change their minds.
This is exactly what I told those patients when they said they couldn't go to the dentist because they didn't have insurance.
1. Here you are and you don't have insurance. So actually when you want to go you can go.
2. You will pay more now than if you had regular dental care since now, things will be more complicated.
3. When you haven't taken care of your teeth for years and you finally get insurance, don't think that it will cover the cost of large amounts of dentistry. Remember, most plans have maximums after which you are paying out of pocket. Not all plans cover major work such as crowns which you now may need since your mouth is falling apart. Again, this will be out of pocket.
4. Regular dental care is much cheaper than emergency dental care. Regular care will allow you to do a small filling in a tooth versus a root canal, buildup and crown at 10 times the cost because you waited. We all understand that we need to change the oil in our cars from time to time. We all understand that it is cheaper to change the oil than the engine.
5. If you think you couldn't afford the regular care then take a little more time between appointments to help you financially. ( But still go from time to time!)
6. Don't forget that you pay for your dental benefits! Your employer removes a certain amount monthly for your benefits from your paycheck. So even when you get benefits you are still paying for them. If you don't have benefits then perhaps put aside the amount you think your employer would remove monthly and then you are saving for your own dental benefit.
I never tell someone what they can or cannot afford, since I can never put myself in their shoes. What I do try to do is to help people look at this problem from a different perspective which I hope will help them in the long run save their teeth.
Having fun in Hamilton Ontario Canada
All the best
Dr. Ron Barzilay