Dental care can be seriously expensive in Singapore, even if you’re only treating that one little cavity.
Consult these tips and tricks to avoid gritting your teeth over your dental bill.
And save some money while you’re at it. The National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Dentistry offers general dental services and prosthodontics like crowns and bridges by undergraduate dental students under supervision, 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.
NEXT: Regular visits are cheaper than the cost of ruining your teeth →
This goes without saying. Paying the dentist $100 a year beats putting off dental visits for five years, then being told you need to get a $4,000 root canal done. Not fun.
NEXT: Negotiate →
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, 2 steps could be done on one day, saving you the cost of one consultation.
NEXT: Get an insurance policy with dental coverage →
Dentistry is often overlooked when we buy insurance, even if they’re health plans. 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 be the first to consider insurance plans that cover your dental bills, or even a specific dental plan.
NEXT: Or, cancel your dental insurance →
Wait, didn’t we just say to get dental coverage? Hear us out. If you don’t have a history of extensive dental work, and your trusted dentist don’t see you needing any in the future either, then a no-dental-insurance-route might work better. Otherwise, you might find yourself spending more on dental insurance premiums than the cost of your dental visits.
NEXT: Shop around →
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.
NEXT: 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.
NEXT: 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.
NEXT: Not all dentists are created equal →
And certainly not all dentists charge equally. Dentist specialists often have a high price tag for their advanced knowledge and skills, even if we’re talking a simple dental check-up. In such cases, a more affordable general dentist would suffice.
NEXT: Help out a dental student →
By Pinky Chng, September 2017
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