Saving dollars in the dentist chair

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE)- If you'd rather be just about anywhere than a dentist's office, this report may give you some comfort. A just-published Consumer Reports' survey on oral health shows most people gave their dental care a thumbs up - even when it came to root canal!

The survey of more than 50,000 Consumer Reports readers, found people who put
off needed dental treatment were less satisfied with the outcome than those who bit
the bullet. That's because not going to your dental appointments may lead to more
extensive and more costly dental treatment in the long run.

If the prospect of a painful procedure makes you cringe, there's good news: the survey
found that serious pain is rare. Only 5% of people who had a root canal said the
procedure was severely painful and only 6% of people who had a tooth pulled. So if
you're worried about pain, that's really not a good reason to avoid the dentist.

But the cost of care was a top concern to some. The most frequent reason for delaying
dental treatment was "the procedure was too expensive." Others worried that "insurance
wouldn't cover the procedure."

But the survey found that you -can negotiate for a better price. Among those who
tried it for costly procedures - like an implant or a full denture - more than half were
successful at getting the price reduced. It pays to do some research first. Websites
like and give the typical cost of a
procedure in your area.

And there are other ways to save. Many people don't realize that community health
centers often provide dental care for fees based on your ability to pay. If you're looking
for a community health center that offers dental care call your
local health department. And be aware if you qualify for Medicaid or the Children's
Health Insurance Program, your kids have some dental coverage too.

In Louisville, UofL's Dental School can be a great resource.  To make a new patient appointment, call Patient Registration 852-5096.  Depending on the service rendered, costs will vary.  They do accept dental insurance and Medicare (medical only), Medicaid and KCHIP.  Patients, subject to credit approval, may be eligible to participate in a payment plant for their dental care by entering into a contract arranged by the financial counselors.  Contact the Cashier's Office 852-5103 with additional payment questions.

For children, the pediatric clinic is 852-5642.  They are running a special for a free exam for children through May 31st.
Here's the link for more information: