Dentist Lafayette, Indiana, offers ‘safe and effective’ dental care
The dentist in Lafaye, Indiana is taking a stand against a growing number of health care costs, as the cost of his office grows faster than the economy.
The dentist’s office, located in Lefaye, is among the few in Indiana to offer a “self-pay” dental plan.
“It’s just like Medicare, we’re charging for it,” Lefayette resident Dan Prentice told ABC News.
“We have no insurance.
I’m getting a little bit of help, and I’m grateful for that.”
Prentice is not alone.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, more than half of Americans are paying for health care through their employers, while less than 10 percent of Americans get dental care at home.
“We can’t do it on our own,” Prentice said.
“I want to see a dentist or a doctor in the next 10 years who will treat me and give me the same care,” he said.
“They’re going to treat me the way they want to treat anybody else.”
“I would have to have the money and the ability to get it, but I think it’s worth it to see someone in a dentistry who’s not going to take advantage of my health,” he added.
“And I’m just glad that this is happening in the country, and hopefully, other people will do the same thing,” he continued.
Lafaye has the fourth-highest dental cost per capita in the state, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“For many people, they just have a hard time coming up with the money to pay for dental care,” said Linda Lefay, executive director of the Indiana Dental Association.
Lefay is the founder of the nonprofit Indiana Density Network, which helps patients find affordable, quality dental care in the greater Laxmi community.
Lifetime care is not cheap.
The average cost of dental care per person in the Lax Mias is $1,828, according a 2017 study by the National Dental Foundation.
Prentice says the cost is getting worse.
“Now, I don’t think it’ll go down, but it might get a little higher,” he told ABC affiliate WISH.
Prentice’s dental practice also charges a $2,000 yearly fee for services that include root canal treatment, fluoride and fluoride supplements.
Prentices office, which has been open since 2012, has had to close for the past two years due to a lack of dental supplies and staff, which he says is costing the business money.
“My practice is getting a lot of money from the state of Indiana,” he explained.
“But I think they’re going back to the old ways.
They’re not going after the people that have the most,” he warned.
Lacrosse dentist, Paul Gaskins, is a vocal advocate for dental health in the community.
Gaskins is the owner of Lacrosse Dentistry in Lakewood, Illinois.
He says the average dental costs are $816.60 a year for dental services.
“What they’re trying to do is, they’re forcing people to spend more money on the cost and the care,” Gaskens told ABCNews.com.
Gasks dentists office in Lakeland, Illinois, is the second-most expensive in the city, according the National Association of Dental Facilities.
Galloway is a resident of the community, and he’s one of several who are taking action against the rising costs of dental health care.
“Our community has been hit hard by the health care bill, and it’s just so much more than what we have,” Galloway said.
In an effort to help prevent more dental bills from coming in, Lafay has started an online campaign called “Save My Dentistry” to raise awareness of the rising dental costs.
“When you see the numbers, you see, the health insurance that is in place is a big reason why,” Gafkins said.
Gafkis family, including his wife, daughter, grandchildren and grandchildren, are taking part in the campaign.
“A lot of us were surprised at how much we had to pay,” Gafeiks daughter said.
He and his wife have two other kids who are also dentists, but they’re not in the practice.
“If you have a young child, it’s difficult for them to afford to go out and see their dentist,” Gaffeks daughter added.
Gafeioks son is also in the dental profession, but is working part-time at the hospital to make ends meet.
“He just wants to go to college,” Gaffiks son said.