Is Dental Insurance Worth the Cost?

by Mrs Money

A few years ago I considered going without dental insurance. At the time, I was working at the bank and the premium was deducted from my paycheck so it wasn’t a big deal and I continued to buy the dental insurance. I took advantage of the two free cleanings a year to maximize my money’s worth and keep my teeth in good working order. I like my teeth and don’t want to have to get new ones.

Two weeks ago I decided to go to visit a different dentist to get a second opinion on my broken crown. Our first dentist said when it broke (over a year and a half ago) that I didn’t need to get it replaced unless it was causing me problems. I was excited because who wants to get dental work done unless they absolutely have to? Plus, that would give me enough time to save up the money to pay for it. At the time we didn’t have dental insurance because it hadn’t kicked in at Mr. Money’s new job.

The new dentist discovered that the old dentist left silver amalgam in my fillings when she replaced them with the white fillings. She explained that the white filling wouldn’t adhere properly to the silver and it would cause problems/be loose. This resulted in me having to get three fillings replaced on one side and two on the other side. I was so frustrated because I hadn’t planned on having ANY fillings replaced and here I was having to make numerous trips to the dentist and endure the pain of having the work done. I do NOT like getting dental work done.

Now I’m at the point where I am going back to get my crown worked on and after that’s done, I should be in good shape. I’ll get a temporary crown put on, she will order my new one, and once that is on it should be good for years! I’m crossing my fingers.  I also have gone for a cleaning and I took Penny in with me so she can get used to the dentist.

I’m thankful now that we have dental insurance. I haven’t received a bill or quote from the dentist but our insurance covers half of fillings and crowns so I know it’s not going to be cheap, but it will be a heck of a lot better than if I didn’t have any insurance.

The dentist is a family friend so I know she’s doing a good job and it feels good to know that I’m getting things taken care of now so they don’t cause problems later. I do not like visiting the dentist but I figure if I don’t take care of everything now I could be looking at a lot more time, money, and pain in the future! No thank you. Dental issues are not fun to deal with but once they are done, it’s a weight off!

Do you have dental insurance? Do you visit your dentist every six months for a cleaning and check up?

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What to Look for when Test Driving a Used Car

by Guest

Buying a used car can save you a heap of money, and provide you with a high quality set of wheels at the same time. Today’s models are built to last, so a car that’s three years old may run as good as new provided that it’s been well taken care of. Yet there is always the element of risk involved when you are buying a used car, so it’s vital to inspect any candidates thoroughly before making a purchase. This is particularly true if you are buying privately. Ask to take a test drive no matter where you’re purchasing your car and pay close attention to the following factors.

Image Source: Harry_NL/Flickr

Image Source: Harry_NL/Flickr

Signs of Poor Maintenance

Before you turn the engine on, start your road test by examining the car for any signs of wear, tear, or neglect. Open the hood and pull out the oil and transmission dipsticks to look for grime or low levels of fluid. Inspect hoses and fan belts for cracking, and check the tyre treads for uneven wear. Look under the car for signs of wear as well, and examine the lights and tailpipes.

Safety and Security Features

If you look at the top rated cars at sites like Carsales, you’ll see that many come equipped to a high standard of basic safety and security equipment. A car equipped with safety features like stability control, anti-whiplash head restraints, and multiple airbags will incur lower insurance rates and protect you in the event of a collision. Security features such as deadlocks and a visible vehicle identification number also score top marks. Inspect the car for these types of features before you begin your test drive.

Performance

Another factor to consider is the car’s performance. Cars with excellent performance that are able to zip around town with ease will be easier to resell down the road, and are generally more efficient as well. As you take your drive, take note of the engine’s flexibility and gearstick action. Rev the engine to test acceleration ability and test braking ability.

Ride and Handling

You want to strike the balance between comfort and control on the road, so take note of the car’s ride and handling on your test drive. Try driving the car on a range of different types of roads to see how well the car handles them, from old city streets to dirt roads and major motorways.

Refinement

Take your test drive with the radio off so that you can hear the car’s engine and dynamics. Is there a lot of cabin noise on the road, or is it smooth and refined? Try shifting gears and driving in different conditions to test refinement.

Efficiency

Finally, keep an eye on the mileage during your test drive. The used car salesman may promise you a factory mileage of 55mpg on the motorway, but when you take it out you may only see numbers closer to 35mpg. Real life efficiency is usually different from manufacturer-reported numbers, so see where the used car stands. By paying attention to these different areas of the car on your test drive, you can make sure that it will stand the test of time and suit your lifestyle.

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