Do you have teeth that are less than ideal? Do you want better teeth but your budget is already stretched to the limit? Dental care can be a huge expense for many people. Unfortunately, putting off dental care can only make the costs rise as new issues start to compound the existing ones. The best way to keep your dental costs in check is by visiting a local dentist regularly and fixing problems as they appear. But in order to be able to afford even that, here are some tips to help keep your dental costs within your budget:

Sign up for a dental discount plan: A dental discount plan doesn't mean insurance. Insurance is something that you pay for monthly and then you are able to get a certain amount of work done every year. While this can vary between insurance policies, the covered amount may not be more than a couple thousand dollars. It may also take several months for your insurance policy to start working, leaving you unable to see a dentist until then. Fortunately, there are less expensive dental plans that start working immediately. Unlike insurance, these discount plans simply give you a discount when you visit your local dentist. The discounted amount can vary from as little as 30% to as much as 100% depending on exactly what procedure is being done. Cleanings and office visits are often free under certain discount plans.

Ask for a payment plan: A local dentist would usually rather have you come in and make payment arrangements with him or her rather than not coming into the office at all. Some dentists may want a down payment of some sort before beginning work, but this amount should be significantly less than paying for all of the work up front. If your dentist will set up a payment schedule with you as well as taking your dental discount plan, that will obviously work out even better for you.

Do the work in segments: If you're still having trouble coming up with the money to pay your local dentist, ask him or her to start with the most important work first. Depending on the issues that you're facing, this may mean pulling just one tooth, then coming back in a month or two to have another tooth removed, then go on from there. Even if you can't find a dentist who will work with you on payments, this can be a way to make sure that your teeth get taken care of.

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