What to Do if You Can’t Afford to Go to the Dentist

It’s back; that nagging sensation on the side of your mouth doesn’t seem to want to go away. You feel a dull ache as a splash of cold water enters your mouth, though it’s hard to tell exactly where the pain is coming from, and as such, you can’t avoid it. You think about going to the dentist but realize that you’ve maxed out your insurance coverage for the year; and rather than fork over a chunk of your hard-earned money, you decide to simply deal with the problem until it becomes unbearable.

Over the next couple of weeks, you adjust your eating habits accordingly. You avoid chewing or introducing liquids to the side of your mouth where the pain still persists, and you invest in a cheap bottle of over-the-counter pain relief in an attempt to keep yourself comfortable. Finally, the day arrives where you can take it no more, and so you give in, go to the dentist, and learn that your now severe problem could have been avoided had you simply come in a couple of weeks sooner.

It’s an unfortunate fact that far too many people each year choose to avoid the dentist because of the often-significant costs involved. While some dental insurance plans are better than others, dental coverage, on a whole, is known to be less than generous when it comes to patient reimbursement. Additionally, not all patients have dental insurance, and while most large companies know better than to skimp on general health plans, many get away with denying their employees dental coverage. As a result, plenty of folks out there can’t afford to go to the dentist and whose teeth tend to suffer in the process.

On the other hand, the right dentist can to do his part to cater to a patient’s finances, or lack thereof. Dr. Joseph Pizzarello is a dentist at Pizzarello and Silvestro Family Dentistry, a practice that has been serving the Stoneham, Massachusetts area since 1995, and he believes in making dental treatment as affordable as possible. Dr. Pizzarello’s philosophy is that he has a lot more to gain by working with his patients rather than pushing them into paying for procedures that are likely to cause a great deal of financial distress. Furthermore, he believes that all dentists should make a point of listening to what their patients want and understanding what they can afford.

If you have dental problems that you can’t afford to pay for, then rather than avoid the issue, try talking to your dentist to learn your options. A good dentist might be able to stretch out your treatment over time to make it more affordable for you on a whole. Sometimes, the right approach to oral care is all about prioritization. If you have a tooth that’s bothering you, then there might be more than one approach when it comes to pain relief; and a good dentist will offer options rather than push you towards a course of treatment that is guaranteed to be expensive. Of course, the key is to find a trustworthy dentist who has your best interests in mind.

While it’s understandable that you might prefer to avoid a dental issue to spare yourself the potential expense of having it fixed, this approach can often backfire. The problem with waiting too long to see a dentist is that in certain situations, you could end up worsening your condition — a fact that can end up costing you additional money as well. For this reason, it’s important to find a dentist that you can really trust not only with your mouth, but with your money. This way, you’ll be less inclined to suffer in silence the next time your mouth starts acting up and instead decide to see your dentist and get an honest opinion as to what action you ought to take.

Remember, just because your oral care budget might be tight doesn’t mean that you ought to avoid the dentist completely. Ignoring your mouth is only going to make it worse, and by going that route, you could send yourself into a vicious cycle of increased dental problems and exorbitant bills. On the other hand, a trustworthy dentist can easily make the difference between money wasted and money well spent.

*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.

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