Lack of access to dental care is a major problem in the United States. Unfortunately, around 100 million people don’t have any form of dental insurance. Many of these people simply don’t think it is a great investment, even if they have a decent income. However, they often discover that major dental work is going to be more expensive than they thought.
This issue isn’t unique to the United States either. The good news is that there are a number of options that you can consider if you struggling to afford dental care.
You might want to consider different forms of financing before you need dental work done. You might find that taking out extra student loans if you are still in school is a lot cheaper than paying for dental work with a credit card. Another benefit of paying for dental work with student loans is that you wouldn’t have to start paying them back until you left school.
However, there may be even more affordable options if you know where to look. Some ideas that you want to consider are listed below.
Look into low cost or free clinics
There are several cities that offer free or low-cost dental care for people who do not have dental insurance and lack the money to pay out-of-pocket. These types of free assistance are available for people that do not have any form of insurance that would cover their dental expenses. The scope of these services varies, but preventive care, cavity care, consultations and important oral surgeries are usually covered by these free or low-cost dental programs.
Here are some ways that you might be able to get access to these types of services.
The National Association of Free Clinics operates multiple offices in every state. You can find the website by typing freeclinics.us in your web browser address bar. You can search for a clinic in your city or by zip code to receive free dental care.
Charitable organizations and clinics
You might have a hard time finding a free clinic in your area. Fortunately, there are other options available to you.
You can try visiting the needymeds.org website, which allows you to search for free or inexpensive dental clinics that might be available in your city and state. You just need to navigate to the needymeds website and search for clinics in your area.
This website maintains a listing of free dental clinics that are available in multiple states. You should be able to find a program in any major city and state and see whether or not you qualify.
ADA referral program
The American Dental Association (ADA) has a free referral program for people looking for clinics that offer dental care to children. You need to use this page If you navigate to this page, you should be able to find services that offer cheap or free dental care for children. This link can be used to search for affordable or even free dental services near where you live.
You might be surprised to learn that some public hospitals may have programs that offer free dental services in your city. These hospitals often hire dental students that perform work under a licensed dentist’s supervision while they treat patients. You can reach out to one or more public hospitals near your home and inquire about any low-cost or free dental care that they might offer.
Consider offering to pay for dental work upfront
It is a good idea to talk to your dentist about any potential discounts that they offer on dental work. They might offer significant discount to patients that are willing to pay for the treatment before the appointment with cash upfront.
Look into coupons and other discounts
You might want to consider browsing daily deals websites. They often have listings for coupons that local dentists are offering to attract new patients. You should look for these deals when trying to find a dentist.
Consider joining a dental discount plan
You might want to consider participating in a dental discount plan. How does this differ from traditional dental insurance? You will be able to get the benefits of the savings right away, rather than having to wait through an open-enrollment period. It might be a good option to try when you have no other options to consider.