I am just starting my first full-time job, so I do not have dental insurance and have not had for several years. I do have a discount plan, but I have some major dental work that I really need done! I don't know if I should take a loan to get me started, or what. Does anyone have any ideas?
teedee from Crown Point
Almost all dentist expect payment before dental work is done. They know exactly how much the cost will be.
I had a lot of dental work done a few years ago and I had insurance, but I had to pay up front what the insurance did not cover before the work was started.
The amount I had to come up with was $400.00. I had to get a loan plus interest. (03/06/2008)
Are you anywhere near a university with a dental school? (Here in L.A. we have USC and UCLA)? If so, then check to see if they have a dental clinic. Dental students need patients to work on and the cost is much lower than on the outside. Sometimes, they even do free work for exams! (03/07/2008)
If you have to get major major stuff done (I personally got a full upper denture and a partial lower at 34 years old) look for places like "Affordable Dentures" or "Sexton Dental". They normally do extractions fairly cheap, plus if you need to get a partial, they are the ones you want to do it. They do it day in and day out whereas your dentist may have one a year. (03/07/2008)
Contact the nearest university that has a dental school, and see if they offer any services to the public. Years ago when I couldn't afford it, I had my wisdom teeth pulled by a professor with five or six students looking on. The cost was a fraction of what I would have paid elsewhere, and I really didn't mind the "audience" a bit. (03/07/2008)
Dental offices do take payments, and you can divide the work to be done into phases and make the payments as low as you want. In the meantime take their advice on how to stop having dental problems, no kidding, you really can stop having them (except for getting hit in the mouth!) I'll pray for you, I know these things happen and it's hard to get back on the side of preventing cheaply instead of catching up. But little by little you will get caught up and you'll be glad you did.
The smartest question you can ask is "are there alternatives to this?" - there always are several. Don't be afraid to ask repeatedly if necessary for a temporary fix to tide you over as you go along until it's all done.
When they are explaining things to you, ask them to take it however slowly you need and take notes, then look up weird words on dictionary.com.
This one thing is key: keep the payment low enough so you can be reliable to make every payment on time. They will do more for you, extend you more credit, when they see that they can trust you.
God bless you, Kim (dental hygienist) Some dentists like to take a charity case now and then and help someone for free. (03/07/2008)
Check out Dentalplans.com. They work with dentists in your area and dental work is cheaper. You pay a yearly fee of around $99. Also, I've never had to pay for dental work before the work was done. That's the first I've ever heard that. Personally, I'd never pay before the work is done. (03/07/2008)
After discussing this costly matter with my dentist when my husband had a lot of costly denture work done and a couple of crowns done on myself. We agreed to $100 a month (but no less then $100) without interest until the bill is paid for.
He (the dentist) said yes and that was back in 1995! We are still carrying a balance from other dental work that has been done to us and without interest being charge.
Talk to your dentist. If you allow him in your mouth I would think that you would feel ok enough with him to talk about the cost of the procedures that he does. So talk about your concerns and ask him. Good Luck! (03/07/2008)
By Paula Jo Carr Mebane, NC
There is something called Care Credit that is sponsored by GE. You can apply for it as you would a credit card but you have to have an estimate on how much your dental work will cost. After that, if they approve you, you can pay it back over the course of 2 years without having to pay interest. Ask your dentist to give you information about it! (03/07/2008)
In the meantime, while waiting for answers, remember that most decay is caused by bacteria, and that you can rinse twice a day with straight Hydrogen peroxide and gently flossing well three times a week, not every day as many suggest. Eliminate soda drinks, sugar at all costs, especially if you are having pain or tenderness in your teeth. if you begin to have either of these symptoms, immediately and gently brush, floss and rinse with the peroxide. Avoid sweet pastes, even brushing with paste only twice a week.
If it gets bad enough, take Tylenol every four hours. If it begins to swell, really hurt badly, bleed, you have an abscess and need antibiotics so go to a charity clinic to try to get the right antibiotics. You're not the only one with this problem. I have it too and have been forced to just live with it until a miracle comes along. God bless and help you. (03/10/2008)
If your teeth hurt you can rinse with warm salt water. It taste really bad, but it will help get any infection out. I've had some bad toothache pain and it helped. My heart goes out to you because I would rank toothache pain up there with childbirth. (03/11/2008)
Do you have a Flexible spending Account through your work? You can have a certain amount deducted and dental work is one of the things covered by it.
The thing to remember is don't have deducted any more than what you think you will need. Get an estimate from your dentist and go from there. If you don't use the money within the year, you will lose it (it's unfair IMO but legal.) Once you get it set up I think you can use it and they will just deduct it as you go. But check it out first so there are no surprises. (03/11/2008)
Also try clove oil on painful tooth pain. I had a bad tooth and it saved my life! You may have to look for it a bit but it's worth it - also before you use it do the salt water and peroxide. Clove oil also helps prevent tooth decay. It taste awful but numbs the pain. Put it on a Qtip and put on painful area. (03/16/2008)
By G Dorine
I don't have dental insurance either. What I have found out is that a lot of doctor and dentist offices charge you a different amount (less) when they know you don't have insurance.
Find out the fees and then find out what payments they would accept and what interest rate if any.
Try to avoid putting it on a credit card or taking out a loan because these interest rates would certainly be higher. If they don't accept partial payments, only get done what must be done there and look into a credit union for the loan.
Any smaller things like cleanings can be done at a local dental school. Also, you can ask your dentist where the local hygienists get their training and call there.
I know that they must do cleanings on a certain number of people before they get their license, many times they will do it for free.
Your last option would be to research private dental insurance companies that you could pay to insure yourself with. Good luck and hope this helps! (03/21/2008)
By Cindy S.
The closest dental school to me, the University of Pittsburgh, has an "assistance" plan of 10% off. That's right: the maximum that they'll deduct from any of their work is 10% off, AND you have to make less than $11,000 a year to get that. (09/29/2009)
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