I’m wondering what my options are for finding cheap dental care without insurance. In June 2018, I was laid off from my job. In March of this year, I was hired by as a contractor, so I don’t qualify for benefits. I admit that I haven’t taken the best care of my teeth. My stressful employment situation has increased my teeth grinding habit, and last week I felt a tooth crack while I was asleep. I realize that something needs to be done before the crack spreads. Is it possible to get cheap dental care even though I don’t have insurance, or is the issue too serious for treatment to be affordable?
It’s probably best to avoid seeking cheap dental care. If a dentist is able to significantly cut costs, you should consider if it will include shortcuts and compromising the quality of dental care you receive.
Care You Can Afford
You can get dental insurance on your own. Major insurers have policies similar to what is offered through an employer, including the level of coverage. Your premiums will cost more than they would if the insurance was provided through an employer who subsidized the premium costs.
Find a dental practice that offers special financial arrangements. Call a few dental offices and ask if they offer a cash discount or if the practice partners with a financing company like CareCredit®. CareCredit offers interest-free payment plans if you pay off the balance within a specified time period, otherwise, you might owe retroactive interest.
Receive treatment in phases. If you need multiple procedures, your dental office can provide a treatment plan and let you know the order in which you should receive each procedure. Often treatment can be provided in phases if it doesn’t compromise your oral health.
Tell your new dentist about your teeth grinding habit. You can cause further damage to your teeth if they aren’t protected from teeth grinding. They can break, loosen, and create issues with your jaw muscles. Your dentist will provide you with a nightguard to protect your teeth while you sleep. You can also learn techniques to keep your tongue, lips, and jaw in the optimal position to prevent teeth grinding throughout the day.
Search for high-quality dental care.
View each dentist’s website or call the office for information on payment options if you don’t have dental insurance.
Schedule a consultation with at least two dentists to discuss your oral health, treatment options, and if the treatment can be completed in phases.
I am in serious need of an affordable dentist. My husband’s job was reduced to part time work. We kept dental insurance him only because it was too expensive to add dependents. I have a toothache that is getting worse. This happened to me in the past when I did have dental insurance and I ended up needing a root canal. There is no way we can afford to pay for a root canal out of pocket. I know I need to get help right away but I am not sure how to find an affordable dentist to help. What should I do? Thanks. Darla
You do need to find an affordable dentist right away. When a toothache gets progressively worse, it’s a dental emergency that needs to be addressed. Your past experience shows that you understand the importance of taking care of your toothache quickly.
You can start by doing an Internet search for four to five emergency dentists in your area. Call the offices to find out if payment plans are offered. Some offices provide financing with no interest for qualified applicants. If you call an office that doesn’t offer either, move on to the next one on your list. You will be able to find a dentist that will work with your budget.
Some patients find success in getting an affordable dental insurance plan that doesn’t have limitations for pre-existing conditions. That’s an option only if you can afford to pay for an insurance plan and get approved for it quickly. A low-premium insurance plan can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Most likely, you can find an affordable dentist, but if for some reason you can’t, visit your medical doctor. He or she will be able to determine if your tooth is infected and if antibiotics are needed. It will at least address the infection. Your medical doctor might be able to influence a dentist to see you right away.
Be assured that you will be able to get the treatment you need from a dentist who will make it affordable for you.
I lost dental coverage for myself and my wife. It expired on 6/30. The company offered us COBRA coverage but it 4 times more than the premium for the dental insurance we had. That is ridiculous. I don’t like the way the financial rep at our dentist sounded when she found out that we lost our coverage. How do I find a dentist who will accept us? Ted
Ted – We suggest that you get recommendations from friends or family members who like their dentist. After you get the recommendations, look at the dentists’ websites, or call the office, to find out what forms of payment are accepted. You will find that many offices accept credit or payment plans, or offer financing.
If you can’t get a recommendation from anyone, search online for an affordable dentist or a dentist who accepts patients that don’t have dental insurance. After you find four or five dentists who might be able to meet your needs, look online for patient reviews. You can schedule consultations with two or three of the dentists to help you make a final decision. If you need special care for your teeth, such as orthodontic or cosmetic treatment, be certain that the dentist you choose offers those services and is experienced with them.