Tag Archives: dental health check

How Do I Save Money On My Dental Care?

Attending the dentist and taking care of your teeth can sometimes seem expensive, but there are many ways of reducing the costs involved. Here are our five top tips at Pembroke Dental Ballsbridge for reducing the cost of your dental care.

Prevention is better than Cure

  1. Prevention is better than cure.

New Year’s resolutions often include taking better care of ourselves: lose some weight, exercise more, eat more healthily. We might start off the year with great intentions but our enthusiasm for wet morning jogs or yet another salad wanes and life gets in the way! On top of that, money is tight and January is the longest month of the year. Then by February our good intentions are forgotten.

Well that’s ok, you can visit the dentist in February or any other month too, and it’s never too late to start a good habit!

When it comes to your teeth, the old saying is true: prevention is better than cure. Keeping up with regular check-ups with your dentist and visits to the dental hygienist will help you avoid problems that may necessitate bigger dental work in the future. If you haven’t seen Dr Keenan or Lorraine Doyle in a while, make an appointment to see them soon. It’s cheaper in the long run.

  1. Do your homework.

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While having regular check-ups is important, the effort you put in yourself at home is just as important. Follow the advice of your dentist and hygienist: brush thoroughly at least twice a day, floss daily, use your special toothpaste or inter-dental brushes if you’ve been advised to, wear your retainer, mouth-guard or bite splint as instructed, avoid food and drinks that cause staining if you’re prone to this. It might seem like a lot of hassle at first, but good dental home care quickly becomes a habit and part of your routine. And who can argue that five minutes morning and evening is too much time to invest in protecting our pearly-whites for the long term and avoiding more extensive – and expensive – dental treatments?!

  1. Know your tax entitlements.

Did you know that many of us are entitled to a free dental exam every year? And who doesn’t like getting something for free! Under the Treatment Benefit Scheme, depending on the PRSI you have paid (or certain other conditions) you might be able to come in to see Dr Keenan for a check-up free of charge. If you’re not sure whether you qualify for this or not, please contact the office by email or phone 01 6883242 and we’ll be happy to check this for you.

You can also claim tax relief on certain non-routine dental treatments going back four years. You may already be familiar with the Med 1 form for medical expenses, but a Med 2 form also exists for certain dental treatments, including braces, root canal treatment and veneers. If you’ve been putting off having your wisdom teeth extracted or getting a crown due to the cost, remember that you can claim tax relief at the standard rate of 20%. If you’re unsure what you can claim for, or you would like us to do a Med 2 form for you, again please contact the office.

  1. Consider dental insurance.

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Vhi Dental and DeCare Dental are specialist dental insurance providers. At Pembroke Dental Ballsbridge we have a direct pay arrangement with these insurers which means that all you have to do is advise them that you’ve made an appointment and certain visits like straight-forward dental exams or a visit to the dental hygienist won’t cost you anything on the day – and we look after the paperwork! If you need more involved treatment, we can submit a treatment plan to your insurer and find out, depending on your level of cover, what portion of your fees would be covered by your insurer and what you will have to pay on the day. And at each subsequent visit for treatment we look after the paperwork for you, keeping the hassle to a minimum.

If you have medical insurance with Vhi, Aviva, Laya or another provider, you should also check with them if you can claim something back for a dental visit under the terms and conditions of your policy.

If you don’t yet have insurance, but you’ve been thinking about signing up, check with your HR Department at work. May companies offer corporate schemes, the cost of which can often be cheaper than the advertised commercial policies.

  1. Get money off.

There are three easy ways of saving money if you are a patient of Pembroke Dental Ballsbridge. We offer a 10% corporate discount to employees of local companies on general dental care. We also offer interest-free finance plans for orthodontics over the course of your treatment. And we love referrals! If you pick up a referral card at our office and refer a friend to us, you can both avail of a €20 discount.

And don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled when doing your weekly shop or visiting the pharmacy! Toothpastes, toothbrushes and floss are often on special offer (buy one get one free, money off, etc.), so stock up when you can. During the sales, reductions on prices of electric toothbrushes and water flossers can save you a few euros too!

Do you have any other money-saving tips relating to dental care? Visit us on Facebook or tweet us @pembrokedent to share your ideas!

Mouth Cancer – know what to look for

There are over 300 cases of mouth cancer diagnosed in Ireland every year.

Although anyone can be potentially at risk, mouth cancer carries a much higher risk to people who smoke (or chew tobacco) or drink more than the recommended number of alcohol units weekly. In fact 3 out of 4 people who have mouth cancer smoke and drink alcohol. Other factors like poor diet and HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) are also linked to mouth cancer.

Although mortality rates in Ireland are rising because of being detected late, the good news is that early detection transforms survival chances to 90%.

As the early signs can be easy to ignore, it is important to carry out regular self-inspections when you are cleaning your teeth, speak to your dentist immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms;

  • Ulcers which do not heal within three weeks
  • Red and white patches in the mouth
  • Unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth
  • Difficulty in swallowing or a feeling that something is caught in the throat

Although most people know the importance of having a full dental health check every six months for gum disease and keeping the mouth generally health, many do not realise that dentists carry out checks for mouth cancer and check the soft tissue for signs.

What can you do?

Early detection transforms survival chances to 90% so regular check-ups with your dentist are essential. Although your dentists may not always communicate it, they will normally carry out an inspection of the soft tissue in your mouth during a full dental health check. Self-examination should also be carried out at regular intervals for some of the symptoms outlined above. If you’re a smoker you should obviously consider stopping immediately. If you have any concerns please book an appointment with our dentist Dr. David Keenan immediately.  Please contact us in our Dublin dental practice today at 01 668 3242.