UNDATED (Yahoo!) -- Do you skip out on dental care because of cost? Here are ten ways you can lower your dental costs, saving hundred of dollars a year on procedures from Shine on Yahoo!.
1. Bartering - If you have a product or service to work with, you could be able to barter services with your dentist such as appliances, website design, or remodelingg. Don't be shy about asking.
2. Research clinics - Some community health centers offer dental care charging only what you can afford. Call your the Arkansas Department of Health to find a location near you. There may be a waiting list, but for those in the lower income bracket, you can save an average of 41 percent at these types of facilities.
3. Negotiate - Find out the typical insurance rates in your area with FairHealthConsumer.org or HealthCareBlueBook.com. You can then ask your provider to beat or accept that amount as cash payment instead of going through your insurance.
4. Investigate dental discount plans - These sites, around $50-$100 for an annual membership, give you access to a network of dentists who already agreed to discounted rates. Just watch out for pricey add-ons and extra procedures you don't need.
5. New client discounts - Many dental offices offer free promotional services for first time clients like teeth whitening.
6. Family discounts - If your entire family can go to the same dentist, ask for a family discount. This can save you at least 10 percent off your vistis.
7. Schedule appointments during off-peak times - The best time to visit you dentist is off-peak times like Friday afternoons. Or ask to be put on a "short call list" where in exchange for a discount you agree to come in on short notice.
8. Straddle procedures - Some insurance companies put a cap on coverage a year. If you have a multi-visit procedure, it may be best to spread out appointments over this year and the next to spread out cost.
9. Request flex payments - Work with your dentist to come up with a flexible payment plan.
10. Prevention - Preventative care is probably the biggest long-term money-saver of all. For example, upgrading to an electronic toothbrush can remove 75 percent more plaque over a manual. Also flossing regularly is key to preventative care.
(Source: Shine on Yahoo!)