Dental care can be seriously expensive. Here’s how you can keep the costs under control.
Help out a dental student
And save some money while you’re at it. The National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Dentistry offers general dental services by undergraduate dental students under supervision, as well as prosthodontics like crowns and bridges, as well as orthodontic treatments like braces by postgraduate residents. At a fraction of a cost, of course. It some cases, the bill can come to as low as $20.
Even if you can’t negotiate the actual price of, say, getting braces, try reducing the total cost of your dental works by negotiating the total number of visits required. For instance, two steps could be done on one day, saving you the cost of one consultation.
Get an insurance policy with dental coverage
Dentistry is often overlooked when we buy insurance. Most health insurance plans have limited or no coverage for urgent dental treatment, and some pay out only a limited amount. If you smoke or have a history of extensive dental needs, you should consider insurance plans that cover your dental bills, or even a specific dental plan.
Of course, prices of each procedure vary from clinic to clinic. Beyond that, some clinics offer new patients free services, from dental examinations to teeth whitening. And if it’s a service that you can’t really go wrong with – it must really take a quack doctor to accidentally pluck out your tooth in a regular dental check-up – then it literally doesn’t cost anything to try out a new clinic.
Check for dental provisions in your travel insurance
When going abroad, check if your travel insurance provides for emergency dental treatment. Costs for dental services overseas can be prohibitive, and that’s the last thing you need while you’re already in pain. If your travel insurance covers it, you can get immediate treatment rather than waiting till you get back to Singapore.
Check your employment benefits
Many large companies may have an inclusion for dental services. The only downside is that you may not be able to use a dentist of your choice, as the subsidies will only apply to select practitioners. But hey, it’s free healthcare. We’ll take it.
A version of this story first appeared in The Finder.