If you don’t have dental insurance or haven’t been to the dentist in a while, you may be wondering how expensive that next trip is going to be. And when it comes to free consultations, you also want to find out exactly what the consultation includes.
Free Dental Consultations
You’ve probably seen free dental consultations advertised and wondered what is involved. Yes, many dentists (especially cosmetic and dental implant providers) offer free consults. These aren’t checkups, and they don’t include cleanings or x-rays, it’s intended to be a discussion between you and the dentist prior to starting treatment.
Most of the time, the free consult is going to be a quick, short 15-minute visit with the dentist to go over things like:
- If you’re a candidate for a particular treatment
- What your long-term expectations are
- If the dentist is able to help you meet those needs
- Whether you’re ready to start planning for actual treatment
As noted above, a consultation is not an exam. The consulting dentist may not even look into your mouth other than having you smile or a taking a quick glance at your teeth and gums using a dental mirror tool.
But sometimes dentists will offer a free exam and x-ray for new patients. This can be a great deal, if the dentist comes recommended by your friends and/or family, or has positive online reviews.
When Some Dental Consultations Cost Money
An in-depth “consultation” that goes beyond a 10-minute conversation is going to cost money. Why? Because your dentist will need to assess numerous aspects of your smile, examine individual teeth, take x-rays, and possibly even have impressions made. Planning extensive treatments like dental implants or smile makeovers is an involved process.
Fortunately, comprehensive exams and x-rays are often covered by insurance or discounted when you have dental insurance or a dental savings plan.
Check to make sure what kind of consultation/exam you’re getting though, as your dental insurance or (dental discount plan) will probably cover or discount basic checkups and comprehensive checkups at a different rate. For example, a regular checkup may be free under your dental insurance, while a comprehensive exam may be covered at 80%.
Complimentary Exams Rolled Into Your Treatment
In some situations, dentists or specialists will roll the cost of your exam into your treatment plan.
For example… you’re taking your child to the orthodontist to find out if they’re old enough to get braces yet. Your visit is only a consultation to find out the basics, but once you’re 10-minutes into the appointment, you and the orthodontist know it’s the right time to start treatment. So, your orthodontist continues on to fully examine your child’s bite and order extra x-rays. The basic fee for your initial exam may be waived in cases where you opt to begin treatment immediately.
Save Big on Dental Care
Free consultations won’t get your teeth fixed, or keep them healthy. If you need dental care but can’t easily fit it into your budget, talk to the savings experts at AetnaDentalOffers.com to find out how dental discount plans can help make dental care affordable.
Save 15% to 50%* at the Dentist
With an Aetna Dental Savings Plan.