How to Get Free or Cheap Dental Care
Sometimes we may put off a visit to the dentist because of the cash shortage hoping that the amount of money needed will be on hand when the problem becomes too serious. Or when you face a dental emergency, but don't have dental insurance or lack money to pay for expensive treatment is it possible to get the care you need right now? In this case a dental savings plan is what you need. It is affordable to everyone and can be activated really fast. Due to this plan you can get the dental services you need fast and even get an appointment with the dentist of your choice. So let's look into the ways of getting dental care for less.
Hospital Emergency Rooms
If you are suffering from a toothache or have an oral infection, you may go to the nearest emergency room. Even though the ER is probably not the best place to get dental care, many Americans do visit it often. In fact, according to the data provided by the American Dental Association every minute a person comes to the ER with a toothache.
At the ER you will be prescribed medicines that will stop infection and ease the pain. medication to get you through the next few days. You may even have a tooth pulled out, provided a dentist is available on staff. However your dental problem won't be solved since most ERs don not specialize in dental care. It means that in ER you will have your symptoms treated but not the cause of the pain. In addition, you are bound to return to the ER in several months, and you will have to pay from $749 to $1000 for a dental emergency.
If you decide to go to the ER you had better choose the one that is associated with a community dental clinic. In this case you will be able to make a follow-up appointment with the clinic before leaving the emergency room. Community clinics often lack personnel and with a referral from the ER you may get the treatment sooner.
Community Dental Clinics
Each state has several low-cost or even free dental clinics. Most of them are located in the cities so the residents of the rural areas will have to travel to one of such clinics. Also some dentists may offer you a discount as most of them will be willing to adopt their rates to your income.
If you are looking for a low cost or free clinic make sure you check with your local public hospital first. As a rule large hospital have a community dental clinic or may recommend the one with affordable rates. Also it would be a good idea to check with your state's dental association. At the website of the American Dental Association (ADA) you can find a map that points out all dental school clinics as well as free and low cost dental treatment programs you state provides.
Dental School Clinics
At dental school clinics you can get the treatment needed at the fraction of the cost. Since dental students need hands – on experience to get licensed a number of dental schools work on a sliding scale basis offering affordable treatment. But be prepared to sit longer in the dentist's chair because the student's work will be supervised by a qualified dentist. Sometimes you will even have to go to the clinic several times to complete your treatment plan.
Dental Care Accessibility Organizations
There are a number of organizations that can help you find a low cost dental clinic or inexpensive dental care program. These include the United Way, a community-based coalition of charitable organizations, and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Also consider checking out Dentistry From The Heart that regularly provides free dental care to people with financial constraints. Mission of Mercy provides free dental treatment to residents of Arizona, Maryland, Texas and Pennsylvania who have insufficient dental insurance coverage, or have no dental insurance at all.
By participating in clinical trials conducted by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), you can get some free or cheap dental treatment for the particular condition they are researching. You may want to find out whether this organization is currently running clinical trials that meet your needs.
Beware of Bad Websites
Sometimes you may come across websites that claim to have the lists of free or inexpensive dental care providers in your area. Stay away from the websites that require you to create an account and/or request your contact information so you could access their database. The chances are that such websites are either gathering information that is later sold to marketing companies or are trying to get your personal data by fraud. All you need to provide to find a dental clinic in your area is a zip code.
Dental Savings Plans
If you can't wait and need dental care urgently dental savings plan which is the affordable alternative to dental insurance is the best solution to the problem. As a rule free or inexpensive dental care options mentioned above require waiting for some time before you actually can get an appointment with a dentist. Plus you can choose the dentist yourself instead of being assigned to one.