What to Do If You Don’t Have Dental Insurance

With the health care reform bill maintaining a constant presence both in the news and in Washington, D.C., and with no end in sight for the rise of the unemployment rate, health insurance is a hot topic of 2009 and 2010. According to a fall 2009 press release, the U.S. Census Bureau confirmed that a staggering 46.3 million Americans are currently uninsured. This translates to 15% of the population that is unable to attend the doctor or dentist as their leisure in fear that the bills following their visit will be too much to handle.

However, there are still options for those without the ability to purchase or obtain dental insurance. Daniel Klein D.D.S., who owns a New York family dental practice, uses one word to sum up his advice for making sure that you’re taken care of: prevention.

You need to make sure that your dental needs are minimal, he says. But, how do you accomplish this? By going to the dentist, of course, he insists. It’s proven that people who regularly visit the dentist have far fewer dental needs than individuals who only make an appointment when they have a problem. Essentially, this is because when you visit the dentist more often, problems are discovered earlier and are able to be rectified in the earliest stages, which not only eliminates pain and discomfort but also eliminates having an astronomical medical bill afterwards.

You may not know this, but if you get your teeth cleaned twice a year by your local dentist it can actually be less expensive than the premiums that are paid for dental insurance, says Klein. And, he adds, a lot of preventive measures can be worked in to your regular cleanings at the dentist and your daily routine at home to lower the chances of having problems with your gums and teeth. For example, professional fluoride treatments can be given at the dentist to strengthen your teeth’s enamel, and diligent use of toothpaste and dental floss both help minimize oral bacteria growth that contribute to tooth and gum disease.

Be aware of what you eat as well. Stay away from sugary and acidic products like soda and juices that attack your teeth. Or, if you do drink or eat something that could affect your oral health, make a conscious effort to brush your teeth directly afterwards.

Lastly, urges Klein, be aware that some habits often lead to dental trauma which may require expensive restoration procedures. Common sense dictates, he says, that teeth should only be used to chew your food and are not meant to be used as tools for actions like opening bottles, cutting string or cracking nuts.

*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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