If you don’t have dental care coverage provided through work, you may be hesitant to buy individual coverage, with premiums reaching nearly $100 a month or more for some family plans. That may be why 74 million Americans didn’t have dental coverage at the end of 2016, according to the National Association of Dental Plans.
What’s more, even those with Medicaid may need to pay for care since many states don’t include adult dental benefits as part of their plans. Most policies also have caps that can be as low as $1,000 on benefits and pay only a portion of the cost for crowns, root canals and similar procedures. That means those who have a dental emergency or require extensive work could find themselves facing bills for thousands of dollars, even if they have insurance.
“It’s quite expensive, and it doesn’t cover much,” says Sharona Hoffman, professor of law and bioethics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland.
Without coverage, people may skip annual cleanings, which can be crucial for detecting dental problems early on and addressing them before they turn into expensive emergencies. Plus, poor oral health can lead to serious health problems like heart disease. If you’re lacking dental care and looking for an affordable alternative, here are seven cost-effective options.
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