I am in need of dental work, wisdom teeth removal. I am 52 yrs old, I do not qualify for medicaid, and can not afford dental insurance. Does anyone have any suggestions for finding affordable dental work?
By Maryjane from Taos, NM
Are you anywhere near a university with a dental school? Dental students need patients to work on and the cost is much lower than on the outside.
Check your local community college to see if they offer a dental hygenist program. Here in NC, although they don't do extensive work such as what you need, they do offer basic dental services & can make referrals for these kinds of services w/local dentists at low/no charge. Also, is there a university/medical /dental school in your area that may offer these services?
The dental students where I live are only doing dental exams, and cleaning. They don't do fillings, extractions, etc.
Search on Google for a dentist in your area that offers a "sliding scale". They will ask you for some financial information and then charge you a scaled down payment based on your income.
Try Delta Dental or Costco for a Dental Plan. It's not insurance but it's like it. You pay a yearly fee, mine was less than $200 for me and my husband. Then the stuff is discounted. For ex. here where I live near the Bay Area, root canals and crowns cost $3,000, yep three thousand! But with my Dental plan, I paid $1,000 and that was in 3 installments. I know that is a lot, believe me it was a huge struggle as my husband's boss had no work and we were barely making it on piddly paychecks, but bad teeth lead to a lot more health problems. Look into it.
Where I live they did a free dental day. People are in such need of help that they camped out the night before because it was first come, first serve. Doctors donated their time. They had so many more people than they ever imagined would show. You might check in your city and see if they have such a day.
We have a dental chain here in Florida called Coast Dental. They finance the work so you can make payments. See if they have something in your area.
We have a dental school here that does work for very little money or free. The students need to practice on patients. Same with massage schools, that have a clinic where I get a $20 massage weekly.
Call and ask your doctor (or their nurse) where you can get help at no or low cost clinics in your area. Let them know you need the help but can't afford it. I asked my doctor a couple of months ago (because teeth are a part of overall health) and she gave me the name, phone number and address of two in my county. You'll then need to call the clinic(s) and find out what is required to get their approval for help.
You might want to try Care Credit. With Care Credit you can charge a certain amount for medical/dental work (if the dentist will accept it) and if you pay back the amount borrowed within 18 mos., you pay no interest (Care Credit can also be used for payment of pets' medical issues). You can apply for Care Credit on line. Also, you might want to see if your dentist takes the Avia dental plan, if it is offeredin your area. I pay $13.50 a month for my entire family which allows us discounts at our dental office. For example, today I had a cleaning, exam and two bitewings and under the Avia plan, my dentist charged me $55 instead of $110.00. For a single person, the per month cost would be less, I believe.
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