If you don’t have access to dental coverage through your employer, you’re not alone: 25% of Americans are in the same boat. You may be wondering if you can still go to the dentist and how much it will cost. I’m here to set the record straight: you absolutely can get dental work done without insurance.
However, there are some complications you will have to deal with, such as surprise bills, variable costs, budgeting, comparing practices, etc. Fortunately, there are a few ways to estimate how much care will cost before you get to the dentist. chair.
Reading: Where can i go to the dentist without insurance
As a dentist, I’ll give you an inside look at what it takes to charge for dental work, along with expert advice on figuring out how much you’ll pay. In addition, we will explore a new type of dental plan designed specifically for people without employer-sponsored insurance.
how much does dental treatment cost without insurance?
The biggest hurdle you face when visiting the dentist without insurance is lack of clarity on pricing – each dental office will set different prices for different services. Fortunately, we have data to give you a general idea of how much you could pay out of pocket for visiting the dentist. our information comes from fair health, an organization that collects and publishes rate data from across the country.
States have varying costs of living, which affects how much residents pay for rent, food, and even health care. Since Tampa is a mid-sized city in Florida, which falls right in the middle of Patriot’s cost of living rankings by state, it’s a good benchmark to use as an estimated average cost in the United States.
Here’s what you’d probably pay if you paid cash for common dental services in Tampa:
However, don’t underestimate how much costs can vary by location. Here’s how much the same common dental services cost in Manhattan:
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The stark differences here are something to chew on (sorry, dentist pun), but using these estimates as a guide can help you budget.
do dental insurance companies pay the same amount as those who pay cash?
Short answer: no. Insurance companies have the resources to negotiate rock-bottom costs, and they do so with the collective bargaining power of their subscriber base.
Insurance companies are very secretive about what they actually pay, so even if you’re covered, it can be hard to know if you’re getting a fair price. But the result is the same: the prices established for cash payers are not the same as those paid by insurers, so much so that NPr calls them “fiction.”
on the other hand, patients who pay out of pocket have no influence. they pay what the dentist charges and can’t easily shop around to see if they can get a better deal elsewhere.
what are my options for going to the dentist without insurance?
First good news: yes, you can go to the dentist without insurance. Now the bad news. If your employer doesn’t offer insurance, you have limited options for managing dental appointments.
1. you can buy your own insurance plan
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, you can buy your own insurance plan through the government’s online marketplace. In my experience as a long-time dentist working to help patients control their dental costs, this can be one of the most unfair deals. plans available for individual purchase are often loaded with restrictions. These are some of the most common ones I see:
annual contracts that guarantee you a full year, whether you use it or not
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low yearly highs, limited recovery & greater coverage in the first year
treatment restrictions on what you really want (considering invisalign? your insurance might tell you to think again)
out-of-pocket costs at each visit, ranging from 20% to 50% of the total
In a nutshell, for many patients, this option doesn’t make sense.
2. fend for himself
Traditionally, there is no easy way to compare prices. so if you’re paying out of pocket, you’re really at the mercy of what your dentist decides to charge you. And since many patients don’t find out what they’re paying for until the bill arrives, you may be in for a surprise.
It’s technically possible for people to negotiate their bills, but that’s most commonly done for hospital visits. most ordinary dentists will not negotiate. after all, if you’ve already received the service, you don’t have much support to negotiate.
3. use smylen!
That’s why my co-founders and I created smylen, an app that lets you compare prices and book dental treatments online. is a better solution for the nearly 25% of Americans who don’t get dental coverage through their employer.
You get access to the best dentists and incredible discounts of up to 80% of what you could pay if you book on your own. You also won’t have to calculate how much dental work will cost or be left with a surprise bill again. you can see exactly how much you’ll pay and compare prices to find the practice that’s right for you.
Unlike insurance, you only pay for what you use, so there are no wasted premiums. Plus, there are no treatment restrictions, so you can make your own decisions about cosmetic treatment, implants, whitening, and more. all with total transparency.
Although you can still go to the dentist without insurance, there are many hurdles to go through if you book on your own. but smylen has your back and helps you find the right provider by comparing starting prices for dental procedures. To see how easy it is to book and save on dental work without insurance, visit smylen today.
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