It’s a widely held truth that nearly nobody enjoys going to see the dentist, whether it’s an emergency, or a routine appointment.
However, with the exception of the retired, unemployed, etc., who receive free coverage via the NHS for all but cosmetic dentistry, we all do have to figure out a way to pay for it all.
And while it’s entirely possible to go it alone and pay for your teeth as and when you need to make that trip to the dentist, it might not always be a good idea to leave it to chance.
For that reason, it’s worth investigating the various options that are available to pay for your dental care. Having that once in a blue moon accident or aching tooth pain in the night could leave a gap in your finances.
Spreading The Cost With Dental Insurance
Image Source – By Amy Dame
Accidents happen. And when they happen to your teeth, treatment to replace or repair the damage can be costly. Rather than waiting until it’s too late, taking out a dental insurance policy allows you to spread the cost of your care, and can cover routine appointments as well as emergency dental work, hospital stays, accidents, and even worldwide cover.
Your once or twice a year scale and polish / check-up are covered by many such policies, and this helps them at least partly pay for themselves, while protecting you if something unexpected happens.
Different payment plans are available from providers like Dencover. These range from from affordable NHS policies, that cover you for dental work with your local NHS dentist, right up to premium policies that cover all kinds of eventualities, ideal for those who think they might benefit from extra cover.
The value of these policies depends on your dental costs and budget. It’s also worth checking the details of your policy to see what is covered, and where excesses apply. As always, do your maths, check the details of the policy, and see what’s right for you.
Capitation Can Cover Costs
Capitation policies are payment plans typically arranged through a dentist or employer. You pay a set fee each month, depending on your dental health, etc., and this covers all routine appointments, plus additional work.
This can be convenient in terms of spreading payments, managing costs, and covering out of pocket expenses. You (or your employer) pay the company, and it pays the dentist. However, some personal finance experts report examples of excessively high plan costs, which exceed the benefit of having the policy. Again, it all depends on your circumstances, so do your maths and consider the merits versus the cost, to see if it’s the right fit for your needs.
Just Pay As You Go?
You can just do what many people do, which is to pay your costs on a discretionary basis, as the need arises. Those on a budget can simply pay the standardised £18.80 cost of a routine appointment with an NHS dentist once or twice a year, for their scale and polish. However, this is on the assumption that no accidents or unexpected dental pain will occur. You can budget for these costs by saving, but they are by their nature unexpected, and the amounts involved are unknown.
What To Do
As with all aspects of personal finance, the answers about what to do will vary. You are best placed to make a decision based on your own circumstances, income, and the costs you expect to pay, depending on the condition and age of your teeth. Dental care plans, capitation plans, and self-financing are all good options, but the decision about what suits is best left to you.
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