Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Keeping the cost of dental care to a minimum

Dental care in the UK can be expensive so what can you do if your worried about the cost of dental treatment?

Dental care can sometimes be expensive, particularly if you need a lot of treatment, but if your dentist has diagnosed treatment, it's important that this is completed quickly to restore your mouth to health and to avoid further complications.  But if you're feeling the financial pinch, what can you do to keep your dental bills at affordable levels?

Firstly, ensure that you have regular dental check ups.  This normally means every six months but your dentist will advise you on the frequency you need.  By maintaining regular check ups, problems can be spotted early and dealt with before they become problematic and more expensive to fix.

Secondly, if your dentist offers it, join their membership scheme.   In return for a monthly payment, these typically provide regular check ups, hygienist sessions and discounted treatment.  Apart from the cost savings, these can be very good at ensuring that you maintain regular visits to the dentist.  Before joining the scheme, do check what is and isn't included and how long you have to wait before receiving the benefits.

For treatment plans in excess of £250, dentists are increasingly offering extended finance.  There are a number of plans on the market including 'buy now, pay later' (typically interest free with nothing to pay for six months) and interest free/interest bearing facilities from 6 months to 4 or more years.  These facilities are subject to status and normally require a credit reference check.  Ask your dentist if they offer these facilities and, if so, the terms on offer - they should always give you written details if you ask.

If you don't want to take out a loan or have an adverse credit rating, it's often possible to spread the cost of treatment over several months, scheduling the urgent treatments first.  Your dentist should be able to plan the treatment to fit in with your requirements if you want to go down this route.

Finally, there are a number of dental insurance plans available from a number of providers which typically reimburse a proportion of the cost of treatment in return for a monthly premium.  These can bring down the cost of dental care but treatment needed at the time the plan is taken out is usually excluded and there are almost always limitations on the amount paid out.  These can be a good idea but do check all of the 'small print' and make sure that the policy is suitable for your circumstances before committing yourself.

At AllClear in Croydon, we offer a membership scheme giving inclusive check ups & hygienist sessions and 15% discount on most treatments and extended finance (both interest free (typical APR 0%) and low cost (typical APR 7.9%) - subject to status, written details available on request).  We will be happy to work with you to develop a treatment schedule that works for you and can help with the completion of your claim form if you have dental insurance.  For further information or to book an appointment, call in, phone 020 8688 3869 or see our website.

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