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Smile – But Only If You Have Dental Insurance

Do Americans have more in common with their European cousins than they realized? Nearly half of Americans lack dental insurance and nearly three-quarters of those without such coverage are neglecting their teeth, a new study says. It may be a cliché, but Americans are famous for their pearly whites and porcelain veneers, while Europeans are often derided in the media for their wooden-looking teeth. If there is any truth to that, it seems the gap is closing.

More people go without dental insurance due to cut-backs in employee benefits and rising insurance premiums, according to a new study by dental comparison website Brighter.com and EmpiricaResearch.com.au in conjunction with David Neal, professor of psychology at the University of Southern California. Only a quarter without insurance visit the dentist one or two times a year. “Poor dental health is a silent epidemic in the U.S. and a trigger for serious health problems,” Neal says.

Worse, 47% of parents without dental coverage delay their children’s regular check-ups due to costs and nearly one-third of those without dental coverage have been to the dentist “only once” or “not at all” in the last decade, according to the survey. “The survey highlights that dramatic disparities in access to quality, affordable dental care persist in the U.S. today with significant results showing high costs as the strongest factors keeping people from the dentist’s chair,” Neal says.


For those who can afford the best of care, a few words of caution: A recent article in “Faculty Dental Journal” warned that some dentists are concerned about the increase in popularity of porcelain veneers. The article says that patients suffer long-term problems including dead teeth. “Tooth preparation for porcelain or ceramic veneers removes between 3% and 30% of tooth structure while 62%-73% of structure is removed when teeth are treated with ceramic crowns,” it says.

Pay Dirt readers, how often do you visit the dentist?


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    • I would not recommend ooortdhntist Dr. Greg Greenberg of Dallas, Texas. During the course of my orthodontic treatment with him, I paid him for full for orthodontic treatment including the cost for a retainer and the cost to remove my braces. Before my treatment was complete and while still in braces, Dr. Greenberg sent me a letter stating he did would no longer treat me. He refused to reimburse me for the retainer I had already paid him for and for the cost of having my braces removed, which I had also paid him for. I had to pay another ooortdhntist $250 to remove my braces. I sent Dr. Greg Greenberg a letter along with the bill for $250 I had to pay the other ooortdhntist and requested reimbursement for a total of $560. This amount included the $250 and $310 that I found Dr. Greg Greenberg had charged me up-front for a retainer that I never received. He responded with a letter stating he would not reimburse me. I am out $560 and have filed a complaint against him with the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners and the Better Business Bureau.I would strongly urge anyone seeking orthodontic treatment to steer clear of this ooortdhntist. My advice would be to choose an ooortdhntist where you pay at the end of treatment for the retainer and the cost to remove the bracesVA:F [1.9.7_1111]

    • Check out http://www.spiritdental.com. We offer $2000 annual maximums per person with no waiting periods for all services including major and you still get to choose your own dentist. Its the best dental insurance in the US.

    • Go to Costa Rica for dental work. Many of the dentists are trained in the US and speak English. Most dental facilities are up to US standards……about one third the price of the US.

    • I like the concept of dental care pricing like they mention above but I think we need something a little more professional than a colorful web site. As a dentist, I just started using HealthSouk (a FREE discount health plan) for patients AND doctors. . . It was started by a group of doctors apparently and it worked for my practice. . .This is real health care reform not the stuff in the article above.

      healthsouk.com was the site


    • Plenty of my patients that choose to do without dental care gladly buy cigarettes, soda and expensive cell phone plans. They have the money, they simply spend their money in other ways. Preventative care can be paid for as easily as putting $20 a month in a can marked “Dentist”. Good preventative care is not nearly as costly as not taking care of your teeth.

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