How to get dental care without insurance (or money)

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Mmost “health” insurance plans in the United States don’t cover two pretty vital things: your sight and your teeth. While health insurance in general is a trash fire in this country, nothing compares to dental insurance for sheer uselessness. As anyone who has ever needed major dental work knowssame with dental insurance your disbursements are astronomical. In fact, many people don’t even consider dental insurance to be real insurance because most people will pay more in premiums than they will ever receive in benefits. And while Medicaid can provide dental care, its dental coverage varies by state and drops significantly after age 21, and only about 40% of dentists accept it. This is a big reason why a huge 74 million people in this country have no dental coverage.

Oreal health is vital to the rest of your healthyet, soh how can you pay for dental care if you don’t have insurance, or even if you do have insurance but found out how bad it is? Here are some ways to get the care you need without breaking the bank.

Dental schools

No matter where you live, there’s a dental program somewhere in your state filled with students who have to perform exams and procedures on real patients. There may be some travel, but the upside is that you can often get cleanings, root canals, or fillings for less than half the cost you would pay at a practicing dentist’s office.

The downside is that the service will be slow: each step of the procedure must be supervised and checked by a licensed dentist before you can move on to the next one. You can find dental schools in your state at Dental Accreditation Commission.

Dental clinics

There are free and low-cost public dental clinics that use a sliding scale based on income and insurance coverage in almost every region of the country. You can find them by searching FreeDental.org. Many non-profit organizations also hold dental clinics at fairs and other public events, and the American Dental Foundation tracks these events on their website, so you can see if one is heading to your area in the coming months. Centraide also maintains a directory of emergency and low cost dental services it can help you.

If you have a disability or are over 65 and unable to pay for oral health services, you can contact the Dental Lifeline Network. Dentists volunteer their time and services to RAD to help the most vulnerable in society. If this is you, they may be able to help you. Finally, there are hundreds of funded public health centers across the country that provide low-cost oral care. You can find a list of those in your area to Administration of health resources and services website.

Your dentist

Although it’s an uncomfortable conversation to have, sometimes just being upfront with your dentist about your finances is the best way to handle this situation. If you have insurance and have had regular checkups and cleanings, but are now faced with a procedure that will cost you thousands of dollars, ask your dentist if they have a payment plan or performs a certain number of “pro bonos”. ” procedures each year (or if they have a relationship with another firm that accepts such referrals). They may not be able or willing to help you, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Clinical tests

It’s long, but if your oral health needs go beyond the most common procedures, you can search for an applicable clinical trial. Clinical trials often offer free basic health care as part of the trial, and if you have a specific condition, it could be a way to get top notch treatment without having to spend a penny. The government ClinicalTrials.gov is a good starting point, and WCG CenterWatch maintains a list of active dental and oral health trials.

About Antoine L. Cassell

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