Money Talks News: Taking a bite out of dental bills

(Money Talks News) - Even if you have medical insurance, you might not have dental coverage.

However, that doesn't necessarily mean you have to pay retail.

Preserving those pearly whites can cost a pretty penny, especially if you're one of the millions of Americans without dental insurance. But that doesn't mean you have to grin and bear it. There are ways to save.

For example, look into dental schools.

"We have top of the line equipment for a reduced price. We use a great lab. We have wonderful instructors and there's a lot of time and care taken and put into each patient," said Nora Powell, DHSC at Broward College.

Now, saving 50 percent obviously sounds great. But even if you're lucky enough to have a dental school within spitting distance of where you live, there are some things to know.

First, you may need extra time.

A routine cleaning, x-rays and exam may take 3 hours so instructors can check those students' work. But here, you pay just $66 - that's less than half retail.

Also, no matter where you live, it may take longer to get there.

Schools aren't on every corner, but you can find a list on the American Dental Association website.

Finally, if you're worried about having a student work in your mouth; don't be.

"We have well-trained instructors hovering over each student who has 30-plus years clinical experience. So the quality delivered is actually, in my opinion, much greater," Powell said.

Going to a teaching clinic is a great way to take a bite out of those dental bills.

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