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Dean George is the Marketing Specialist and Content Creator for Dental Insurance
Store and its social media channels. He is a regular contributor to Agent Straight Talk, the
only consumer blog explaining the ins, outs and in-betweens of dental insurance and
discount dental plans. READ MORE

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Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees

Apr 24, 2013

Welcome to the final installment of our April blog series about saving money on dental.  This month we’ve talked about preventive measures for good oral health and how insurance plans can help you plan ahead.  To wrap it up with a pretty little floss bow, let’s talk about some non-traditional ways you can handle costly dental visits.

How many times did your parents tell you, “Money doesn’t grow on trees?”  It was a weekly conversation in my house growing up and now I find myself telling my 5-year-old the same thing.  (Funny how you think you will never become your Mother, huh?)   Sometimes when you are faced with any kind of medical or dental expenses, you really wish there was a money tree somewhere.  So in the spirit of Arbor Day this week, I want to give you 5 ways to save on your dental visits without having to harvest a forest of money trees.

5 Steps To Saving Money on Dental
Photo source:

I know what you’re thinking.  What happens once you land in the dentist chair and they deliver the less than optimal news?  You knew a bag of Sour Patch Kids a day would not keep the dentist away forever…

  1. Purchase A Discount Dental Plan – First thing people often say is, “It’s not insurance so I don’t want it!”  You’re right, it’s not a traditional insurance plan.  Think of it like a coupon for dental services.  Savvy shoppers know that coupons can save you A LOT of money.  I mean have you seen Extreme Couponing? 

At we offer a great discount dental plan from Patriot Health.  Let’s say that you have just started a new job and your dental insurance has waiting periods for major procedures.  Low and behold, you get knocked in the kisser at the company softball game and need emergency dental work. 

What do you do? Get a discount plan.  There are no waiting periods, no annual limits and next day activation.  Softball on Sunday, dentist on Monday!  Discount plans are affordable as well with many plans starting at less than $10 a month.

  1. Triage – Holy cow, your mouth is a hot mess!  The dentist tells you that you need several procedures to fix the damage.  You wonder how this isn’t going to damage your bank account permanently.  

Ask the dentist for a plan of action and prioritize the work that needs to be done.  You should start with the most expensive/necessary procedures first.  This way you are filling your insurance deductibles faster and getting your mouth back in shape.  The dentist might be able to share some temporary solutions to tide you over until your next scheduled procedure. 

You are probably thinking, “I don’t have all that money and that’s why I am in this predicament.  Why don’t I do the LESS expensive things first?”  Well, the longer you wait to fix major dental issues, the more expensive they will become. 

  1. Ask For A Payment Plan – Going right along with #2, why not ask your dentist for a payment plan?  Many dentists will work out monthly payments to help lessen the financial burden.   It’s a win-win situation. 

If the dentist agrees be sure you pay on time as there could be hefty late payment penalties, but it sure beats paying credit card interest.  Just smile (if you can) and ask nicely!  Also ask if your dentist gives a discount for paying in cash.

  1. Get A Second Opinion – This is a good practice in just about everything in life and especially important when you have to spend a lot of money.  Asking for a second opinion isn’t implying that your dentist is wrong or doesn’t know what they are doing. 

There could be another dentist that offers lower costs for the same procedures or has a different opinion on what your priorities should be.  It’s always worth a little extra time if it’s going to save you a whole lot of money. 

It shouldn’t be hard to find another dentist in your insurance network either.  You can always use the Dentist Search Tool in our Plan Directory for help!

  1. Use Your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) – Many companies offer a FSA to their employees as part of their benefits package.  You can use the pre-taxed money from your paycheck to pay both medical and dental bills.  Even if you are only able to put $20 a paycheck in an FSA, that’s money that you won’t miss that will help out in the long run.  And you don’t need to spend that money on Sour Patch Kids anyways…

While some of these options will take a bit of research on your part, it’s well worth it to keep your smile and your wallet intact.  Now, if you happen to stumble upon a money tree, you can disregard all of this information.  But chances are you may need this someday… and luckily, our ideas are right on the money.

Thanks for reading Agent Straight-Talk and remember, “Most smiles are started by another smile.” Email us with comments at

Thanks to Felicia for today's blog post. 

Copyright 2013 Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC©

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