Dental care is an important part of your overall well-being, with untreated oral health issues resulting in further health complications down the line – not to mention the impact on your self-esteem. Unfortunately, the rising cost of dental care has resulted in many Australians avoiding their annual check-ups, or even seeking intervention for minor dental issues which only end up being bigger complications down the line. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the total expenditure on dental services increased from $9.7 billion in 2019/20 to $11.1 billion in 2020/21 with the average spend for dental services $432 per person.
This is a lot of money, and it’s only increasing. But the good news is there’s a dental payment solution that is easy, accessible, and will save you hundreds of dollars on dental care.
Why is affordable dental care a challenge?
The traditional forms of dental payment include dental insurance and out-of-pocket – both of which have become increasingly unaffordable amid the escalating cost of dental care. While your dental insurance can assist in covering certain medical costs, some restrictions can make dental procedures inaccessible. With dental insurance, you have to consider co-payments that can be quite high, increasing deductibles, as well as limitations on the type of dental procedures you qualify for – which are sometimes hidden in the small print!
Out-of-pocket payments might work for you if you’re able to put funds away monthly for healthcare, particularly when you’re just requiring routine dental work. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely this will be the case forever, and when it comes to more complex dental work such as treating gum disease, root canals, or reconstructive work as a result of oral cancer – the costs are exorbitant. Plus, if you’re paying for a family’s dental treatment, the costs are just compounded, especially with youngsters needing orthodontic treatment.
Dentists are also required to have professional indemnity insurance by law, with any dental practice requiring business insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, overheads insurance, and more. The result is that the cost of insurance has to be covered, and you end up paying more for the dental work!
How one person discovered dental discount plans
Let’s take a look at how one person (we’ll call him Jack) discovered a little-known dental payment solution that saved him hundreds of dollars – without limiting his dental health options.
Just like you, Jack was concerned with the rising cost of dental insurance, and the increasing gap between what he was paying, and what treatment this afforded him. Out-of-pocket payments weren’t an option, as he has a family and knows that unexpected dental care is part-and-parcel of having children. Not to mention the increasing dental care required when you get older.
Jack voiced his concerns to a friend who introduced him to the concept of a dental discount plan. This is effectively a membership programme that dentists will choose to join, thereby providing patients with immediate access to all forms of dental care at a reduced cost.
Jack was initially sceptical – Is this a scam? How can he receive such comprehensive dental care for such a low monthly fee? But once he started seeing the benefits, he couldn’t believe it had taken him so long to sign up.
How you can save with dental discount plans
Dental discount plans – also known as dental savings plans – are membership programmes that effectively cuts out the ‘middle man’ you have to pay with a dental insurance company, making it that much cheaper. You pay a set monthly amount into the plan and get immediate access to discounted services and treatments for all dentists participating in that particular discount plan.
Another reason you save with a dental discount plan is that, unlike traditional dental insurance plans, there are no deductibles that you have to meet, or annual maximums that leave you without treatment. You have access to all dental treatment options without ever running out of discounts.
With dental insurance, your insurer will often only pay half the amount of the dental treatment and you have to pay the rest – despite your high premiums. Members of the dental discount plan can save up to 60% off standard fees of dental procedures like exams, cleanings, root canals and more – despite paying a much lower monthly or annual fee.
1. Root canal and crown
Costs: $3 567 to $5 562
You pay: Around $2 925
You save: Up to $2 637
2. Upper denture
Costs: $1 723 to $3 400
You pay: Around $1 200
You save: Up to $2 200
3. Simple filling
Costs: $163 – $235
You pay: $139
You save: $24 – $96
4. Complex filling
Costs: $310 – $695
You pay: $269
You save: Up to $426
5. Check-up, X-rays, and clean
Costs: $324 – $552
You pay: $274
You save: Up to $278
6. Wisdom tooth extraction
Costs: $206 – $450
You pay: $173
You save: Up to $277
What are the other benefits of dental discount plans?
If you’re still not convinced by the affordability, here are some other benefits to consider:
- Dental discount plans are flexible so you can choose which dentist you want to treat you.
- Dental discount plans offer transparent pricing with no hidden costs making budgeting easier.
- You don’t have to worry about filling out insurance claims forms or unnecessary waiting periods.
- There are no annual limitations so you get the dental work you need, when you need it.
How to find the right dental discount plan
It’s important that you find the right dental discount plan for you and your family’s needs. This means you need to research plan providers, find out who the participating dentists are, compare costs and discounts, and read reviews about the various plans.
The best place to start is by contacting Alexandra Hills Dental to find out more about their affordable dental care options today!
You can also shop around, checking what your discounted savings would be at other partner dentists. While you will have to pay the remaining balance, dental practices will often provide payment plan options or possibly discounted rates, with interest-fee payments so you’re not paying more.
The result? You’re saving hundreds of dollars every month! Here’s a look at how much you could save…