HomeHealthHow to save money on dental costs

How to save money on dental costs

Keeping your teeth in good shape is one of the central pillars of your health. Problems with your teeth can very quickly lead to problems elsewhere on your body. 

Maintaining those pearly whites usually doesn’t come cheap, but there are ways to protect your teeth without breaking the bank.

Anyone who’s ever had a toothache can probably tell you when something goes wrong with your teeth, it tends to overshadow every other part of your life. Dental pain can be excruciating, and can limit your ability to eat and drink.

This not only has clear implications for your health, but also for your quality of life.

Then there’s the cost of getting treatment. Dental procedures often come with an eye-watering price tag, especially if you don’t have private health insurance. Even if you do have cover, dental procedures are usually only partially refunded.

It seems safeguarding your oral health is expensive, but there are steps you can take to reduce those costs.

Prevention is better than cure

A trip to the dentist is pricey, so start by reducing your need to go in the first place. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with toothpaste containing fluoride and don’t forget to floss daily.

Proper brushing and flossing will help prevent plaque buildup, which can lead to cavities and gum disease. By taking care of your teeth and gums at home, you can significantly reduce your need for costly dental procedures.

Schedule regular checkups

We know you’re trying to reduce paying for the dentist, but attending regular checkups with your dentist at least once every 12 months can help identify any problems before they require an expensive procedure.

Routine exams allow your dentist to catch potential issues early. Additionally, professional cleanings can help remove stubborn plaque and tartar, keeping your teeth and gums healthy.

Consider preventive treatment

In addition to regular checkups, ask your dentist about preventive treatments.

For example, dental sealants are thin coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of molars to protect them from decay. Fluoride treatments can also strengthen your tooth enamel, making it more resistant to food acids.

While some of these treatments can have a hefty upfront cost, they can help prevent costly dental problems in the future.

Explore different dental care payment options

Many dentists offer flexible payment plans or discounts for patients who don’t have insurance. Look for community health centres, dental schools, or clinics that provide affordable or sliding-scale fee services.

Make sure you understand your insurance

If you have dental cover as part of your health insurance, make sure you understand your coverage and take full advantage of the benefits. Review your policy regularly to know what services are covered and what costs you may be responsible for.

Consider scheduling any necessary treatments before the end of the year to make sure you’re using your full annual benefit limit.

Additionally, look for dentists that are ‘in-network’ for your insurance provider dentists to save on out-of-pocket expenses. If you don’t have dental cover through your plan, you may want to consider buying extras cover to help cut fees.

Reducing your dental costs is possible by using a combination of good oral hygiene practices, regular checkups, preventive treatments, and exploring all options for affordable dental care.

By taking proactive steps to care for your teeth and gums and being savvy about your dental expenses, you can maintain a healthy smile without breaking the bank.

When was the last time you went to the dentist? How often would you say you go? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: Is accessing super to pay for dental care a good idea?

Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.

Brad Lockyer
Brad Lockyerhttps://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/author/bradlockyer/
Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.


  1. All the above is well and good, but as we get older unfortunately our teeth do need some repair and maintenance. And those can be done much more economically overseas in countries like Vietnam or Thailand. Dentists there are overseas trained and have much cheaper operating costs, therefore can offer better prices. The savings made can easily pay for the holiday and airfares, and I found the service and level of care much better than in Australia.

  2. Yes I use overseas dentists as well. Also, false top teeth work out FAR more cost effective over time rather than be talked into 10’s of thousands of dollars of dental treatment.

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