In staying healthy, the aspect of good oral health cannot be overemphasized. There are actions you can take if you cannot afford to carry dental insurance. In the short term, skipping cleaning and exams may save you money but lack of dental care can lead to costly medical treatments in the future. Below are how you can get affordable dental care without insurance. 

Dental Schools

The best way to get your teeth cleaned is by visiting a dentist. You will be charged a fraction of the price if you get your dental cleaning from dental students as scary as it may sound plus their work is supervised by licensed professionals. Visiting a dental school could save you at last half of what you would pay the dentist for cleanings, x-rays, and fillings. You might even be able to get a root canal at a reduced price. Keep in mind that students may work at a slower pace and their work is thoroughly reviewed throughout the process, so be sure to put aside enough time for your appointment. To find an accredited dental school near you, visit the Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Nonprofit Dental Clinics

Many nonprofit dental clinics are available and they provide free or reduced-fee dental services. These clinics are usually run by professional dental organizations, charities or faith-based groups. Services may be provided for low-income households, seniors or children depending on the clinic.

Finding a non-profit clinic may take a little digging. Since some clinics may have long waiting lists or have such a backlog that they aren’t accepting new patients, you may find yourself spending time looking for a clinic that can serve you. Free Dental Care offers a directory of dental clinics that provide free or reduced-fee dental services throughout the U.S. The Dental Lifeline Network serves the elderly and disabled community in all 50 states by using dentists who donate their services.

Government Funded Dental Clinics

State or local health departments that receive federal funds are the ones usually running these clinics. Lower cost routine dental services including cleanings, fillings and x-rays are provided at lower cost. These clinics may also offer 24-hour emergency service and can also perform root canals, tooth extraction, and crowns. Fees are calculated based on a sliding scale which considers how much money you make and your ability to pay.

Medicaid may be your Option

If you qualify as low-income or don’t have a job, you may be able to obtain dental services through Medicaid, depending upon the state you live in. Children under 19 years old who qualify under Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) may be able to receive free dental care. Adults may qualify under these programs, even if they aren’t parents. The dental services and amount of coverage will vary by state. Some states cover basic dental services, whereas others provide more extensive coverage.

Talk to your Dentist

Talk to your dentist about your financial situation if you currently see one. They may provide free or reduced-fee services for a few patients that are truly unable to afford orthodontic services in some cases. Some dentists also accepts referrals from other dentists in order to provide these services or give you a referral to another dentist that could help.

Your dentist may be willing to offer you a monthly payment plan is some cases. Spreading the financial burden out of overtime can help lessen the blow to your wallet while you may still be paying premium prices for dental services. 

Not having dental insurance does not mean you can’t get affordable orthodontic treatment. If you are willing to invest your time and energy, you can find a suitable low-cost, even free, options. While skipping dental work may seem like a great way to save you a little money today, it can cost you thousands of dollars of dental work in the future and can have a life-long impact on your health and well being.