Dental Care Creates Financial Woes for Many People

You’re not alone if you’ve considered every possible way to save money and cut back on unnecessary expenses. Many people are still experiencing the lingering effects of the economic recession.

For many people, receiving professional dental care is a luxury. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, one in every four people who lack dental insurance do not obtain preventive or necessary care for oral health problems. This includes the more than 45 million Americans who have medical insurance that does not cover dental work, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Even the costs of at-home care for teeth have gone up. The average price of a tube of toothpaste reached $2.83 in 2010, an 8 percent increase from the previous year’s peak, according to a recent article published in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

However, many providers say they believe that skimping on dental care, even buying cheaper cleaning products, is not a good idea. “If you don’t use toothpaste with fluoride – and some toothpastes that say ‘natural’ don’t have fluoride – I’m willing to bet you that within six months to a year, you will get decay in your mouth,” New York-based dentist Nancy Rosen told the WSJ.

A recent article published in the Florida Ledger highlights a lesser-known financial strain that has been imposed on dental providers themselves. The newspaper reported that there has been an ongoing dispute between the Florida Dental Association and state insurers. Many dental practices are claiming that insurance companies are “effectively forcing” them to provide discounted services to insured patients who reached their maximum coverage costs, but require further treatment.

As a result, the news provider explained that new legislation prohibits these organizations from determining dental rates that are paid by individuals. While many people are overwhelmed by the costs of oral care, there are simple ways to help reduce the risk of requiring expensive treatments.

For example, paying a few extra dollars for toothpaste is more wallet-friendly than having cavities filled or decayed teeth extracted. The American Dental Associationrecommends that individuals brush their teeth two times per day and use floss or interdental cleaners on at least a few occasions weekly.

Have you experienced any financial woes that have impacted your dental care in the past two years? Please share your stories below.

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