Brenda Haithco recently received a full set of x-rays and a cleaning at her dentist, which she said was less than half of what she used to pay. "I think today I'll pay about $70 but normally because I've had a full battery of x-rays it would have run around $350," she said.
She a member of a dental discount plan called Dentrite. Haithco pays a yearly membership fee of $30. She gets cleanings, x-rays and preventive care at prices ranging from $10 to $30 per procedure, approximately half of what her dentist normally charges.
Dentist Sammy Carden said about 30 percent of his patients at Dental One Associates in College Park have enrolled in the program. "It makes procedures affordable for people who would not be able to have them done were it not for this," he said.
Dr. Carden said the discounts for major procedures such as crowns, fillings and root canals are only about 20 percent, but adds preventive care may increase the likelihood patients will avoid more extensive procedures in the future.
Many dentists are also offering interest free financing for their patients if the bill is paid off in a reasonable amount of time.