If you dread visits to the dentist — and the bills that come with it — a couple of services promise to make such care more pleasant.
Costs for each start at well under $100, and all you need to take advantage of these services is a smartphone or computer.
Toothpic is a mobile app that helps you receive dental care from the comfort of home. The app, which launched in 2015, asks users to take pictures of their teeth and gums and submit them along with their questions.
As Toothpic describes it, the app is “the fastest way to get answers to your dental questions from licensed dentists, personalized information on treatment options, costs and overall homecare advice.”
A writer for AARP tried the app and paid just $10 for a diagnosis. He offered this testimonial:
“I tried it for a recent Sunday-afternoon query about a bleeding gum and got this diagnosis and treatment plan in under 30 minutes: My receding gums were exposing crown gaps, so I was told to rinse with a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution before brushing. More extensive virtual exams are costlier and may take up to two days to receive replies.”
Basic care at Toothpic begins at $10. A more comprehensive report costs $35.
Another service, The TeleDentists, offers video consultations with a network of dentists nationwide. You can access the network 24 hours a day via your smartphone, tablet or computer for $69.
“We provide pain relief recommendations that can help you feel better immediately, including the appropriate medications if necessary. If the situation needs a dental visit, our network of dentists will see you at an appointed time and office, within 1 business day, to take care of your emergency.”
Second opinions are available for $199.
Cutting the cost of dental care
Telemedicine offers one way to cut the cost of dental care. But if you’re more comfortable seeing a dentist in person, you still can find ways to save.
For example, seeking out care at a dental school can save you money — and might even get you a more thorough exam. As we have reported:
“Although the procedures may be done by students, they are well-supervised by seasoned instructors. Bear in mind that you’ll likely spend more time at the dental school when receiving routine care. That is because instructors check the work of their students before you are released. The upside to the extra time is that your teeth and gums receive the thorough treatment they deserve.”
For more tips, check out “5 Ways to Slash Dental Care Costs.”
How do you save money on dental care? Share your tips in comments below or on our Facebook page.