Sarah Deveau: Money Matters


Making Dental Bills Less Painful

Saving Money While You Clean Your Teeth

Being self-employed, I don’t have a dental plan. My husband’s company has a very basic plan, so when everyone in our family needed routine cleanings, I started searching for the least expensive clinic I could find. That’s when I stumbled upon dental hygiene clinics.

In many provinces across Canada, registered dental hygienists are permitted to open their own businesses offering services in a variety of practice settings in addition to a traditional dental office. Clients can have cleanings, check ups and many other services. Dental hygienists at these permanent or mobile clinics offer the same services clients receive from the same hygienists in a traditional dental clinic, but with one main different – the price.

The fees for routine dental services such as cleanings and whitening can be lower at a dental hygiene clinic than at a traditional dental office. Hygienists can take digital x-rays, and refer patients to dentists, orthodontists, a paediatric dentist or other health care professionals.

Another way I’ve saved on dental bills in the past is to volunteer as a dental practice patient. Some dental schools look for volunteers for treatment by students – the services might be greatly discounted or even free.

We’re thinking of opening a TFSA specifically as a savings plan for our future orthodontics bills – with three girls and a family history of braces, we think it’s in our future.

Have dental bills put the squeeze on your family’s budget?