More than 100 million Americans don’t have dental coverage, according to medical statistics reported by The New York Times. And 35 percent forgo dental visits yearly, says a recent Gallup report.

Are you represented in those statistics? If so, the Times offers these affordable, doctor-recommended options to maintain both your budget and pearly whites:

Get annual checkups. Prevent small dental problems (cavities and cleanings) from becoming bigger headaches (root canals and gum disease) that require costly corrective treatments.

Discuss treatment costs beforehand. Avoid unexpected and expensive surprises on your bill by knowing procedure prices before allowing any dental work.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Talk about payment plans or spacing out treatments with your dentist. This helps spread out the cost.

Go back to school. Dental school students (supervised by qualified teachers) perform inexpensive services. For dental clinics in your area, visit

Use discount networks. Yearly, customers pay about $100 to $200 for 15 to 50 percent discounts on dental work from participating dentists. Carefully compare plans and research limits and restrictions.

Read RH’s “Bright Smile, Healthy Teeth” to keep your teeth in tip-top shape