Hello, I am in my 40's and my current job does not offer any dental insurance. My teeth are in very bad shape and hurting. I know there are alot of people in my position and I just wondered what do people do. You cant go through life hurting and missing your front teeth. Or is that how its done. Any info on this would be helplful.
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Dental insurance is the worst thing you can ever put your money into. The money you put in vs. what you possibly get out is insanely low compared to any other insurance. If you do not have it offered to you, create your own insurance (pay your savings account every month).
If cost is an issue, go to a local dental school. They offer the same work for about half the price.
Regular dental cleanings and checkups are not that expensive.
However, if you neglect your dental care and only go to the dentist when something hurts, you will likely find that the cost of fixing the problems will be an unpleasant surprise. And even if you get everything "fixed", your teeth won't be anywhere close to as good as if you had good preventive care all along.
Dental insurance generally does not make sense on an individual level, since dental costs are generally low and predictable (and the yearly coverage maximums are relatively low) in comparison to the catastrophic less predictable costs of other things that people buy insurance for (medical bills, houses, car crashes, labor income (life and disability insurance)). It is commonly given by employers in the US due to tax advantages.
I think the point tjihb was making is that some employers do offer basic dental insurance that the employee does not have to pay premiums on and when you go to an in-network dentist certain services are covered 100% such as cleanings or extractions and other work is covered up to 60% to 80%. So when ins premiums do not come out of your pocket and are incl as part of a comprehensive salary /benefits program, having dental insurance helps ensure one at least gets basic dental treatment.
I agree though buying private dental insurance often is a waste of money as many seldom pay less in premiums than they do for the cost of services provided so you have to do quite a bit of researching to find one where the benefits do out weigh the cost of the premiums. Whether insurance is a benefit or not often has to do with the cost of living in your area as well, as the avg dental fees in certain areas can be way above the nat'l avg.
I am not sure where you reside but you could try looking into dental schools and universities - they often provide dental treatment at less than what is charged by private dentists although the dentists are students in training with professors over seeing their work and it could take a couple months to get an appt. Or you could check with your local state or county gov to see if low cost dental clinics are available although if they are, often there are certain low income level requirements. Also, if your credit is good, you could look into health related credit cards that offer 0% financing for 12 mos for dental/medical treatment - this will at least help you spread the cost of treatment over 1 yrs time.