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Getting Dental Work Done Without Insurance

For the many people without dental insurance, there are sometimes affordable ways to get the needed work done. This is a guide about getting dental work done without insurance.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

February 6, 20143 found this helpful

I'm 22 yrs old, with no dental insurance. I live in Northern California. I don't make much, about 700 a month. I need dental work pretty badly. I'm worried if my teeth get bad I'll lose my job, plus it's not healthy. :/

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Any advice on where to go or anything helps. Thanks.

By Sierra S.

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February 8, 20143 found this helpful
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Go and talk to some dentists. Many have plans to pay over time. Make teeth your first priority. Put a little money away each paycheck. Make sure you aren't making them worse, no sweets or soda.

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January 30, 20141 found this helpful

I am in need of dental work. I have crappy credit and no insurance. I need to have all of my top teeth pulled and get dentures.

I fell on my face and knocked out a bunch of my teeth in front. I work with the public and need them fixed desperately. How can I get the work I need done?

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By RL Taylor

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February 2, 20141 found this helpful
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In many places, schools of dentistry will accept patients for their training and at steep discounts. Don't worry that they are students, all work is supervised by licensed dentists. Worth investigating.

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July 18, 20130 found this helpful

I need urgent dental care. I have no insurance, no income, am disabled, and deaf, but can't get Social Security. Where do I go?

By Justine B

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July 20, 20130 found this helpful

Go to Family Services in your state. They will know what to do or where to go.

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July 20, 20130 found this helpful

If you are deaf and disabled, I see no reason why you can't get SSI. Here is a website where they have a forum to talk about it.
http://www.alld … eive-ss-ssi.html

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July 20, 20130 found this helpful

Try a local medical school that teaches dental. Sometimes the students need practice on real patients, plus they are supervised. If you are unsure, check with a local hospital. Where I used to live, it was located there.

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July 20, 20130 found this helpful

You may be able to qualify for SSI and or medicaid. look into both and good luck.

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July 21, 20130 found this helpful

SSI and SSD take up to 3 years so if you have not signed up, please do, but don't wait for help. Ask your local hospital if they have emergency services as they can often tell you where to search if they can't help. Poor dental health can reach critical mass if you let it affect your heart and other systems. Sad to say it can affect almost every system we have so please, if you have to get on or ask someone to get you on FB and make a plea for donations. We bailed out every bank in 2009 why can't we help each other?

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By 0 found this helpful
March 9, 2014

I have periodontal disease but no insurance. I have had it for a while. I have had two gum surgeries in the past. I haven't seen a dentist in about five years after losing my job. I lost my insurance and have not been able to afford to buy insurance. And my gums have progressed with deep pockets, spaces developed between my teeth and gums. I have loose teeth and need at least 2 teeth to be extracted now. I have puffy, swollen, and bleeding gums. I am in pain and eating soft food. I don't want to lose all of my teeth. I am only 53 and devastated right now.

On February 25, 2014 I went to Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, TX, and I was advised that in order for them to accept me as a student patient I would have to allow them to do dentures. I am not ready for that yet. Can someone help me with other options? I live in Dallas, Texas. Where can I find a free dental clinic to accept me with no insurance?

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By Jacqueline W

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March 10, 20140 found this helpful

I wish I could suggest something for you beyond ringing around to dentists in your area and asking if they will work out a payment plan for you - not likely to happen these days unfortunately.

If you have been seen at the dental school and they are saying you need dentures, there isn't a dentist in TX or any other US state who will try to save your remaining teeth without huge amounts of cash, and with the disclaimer that there are no guarantees that they can save your teeth. It may be that the condition of your teeth, and the periodontal disease caused bone loss, means your teeth cannot be saved.

If you've been seen at the dental school and this is what they've told you, please let them do the work! You will be shocked to find you feel much better - periodontal disease at the stage you're describing is terribly debilitating and you don't know how much it drains you until you have the treatment and suddenly your energy returns! Please keep reading to learn how I know this...

I lived in the US Deep South (AL and GA) for many years, I've now relocated to Scotland but whilst in the US I lost my job and insurance (forced into early retirement with a very small pension which did not cover living expenses much less insurance!) during dental treatment - which then ended abruptly with the end of my insurance.

I'd had an impact injury that cost me my upper five front teeth (full speed dog meet face) and while luckily I still had insurance at the time so the upper plate was covered, they also found periodontal disease and I was smack in the middle of treatment for that when I lost my job and insurance. At the last visit the dentist told me - Rinse twice a day with Listerine until you can afford dental insurance again.' I did eventually find another job (not easy at 52, btw) but it didn't come with insurance. The pain from the disease was horrific, I'm still not sure how I made it through it.

After meeting a Scotsman whom I married in 2011 I now live in the UK where medical and dental insurance is much more reasonable - my pension covers my premiums and I've had proper care for the periodontal disease. I'm now 57 and feel like a 30yo!

Yes, I did lose a few more teeth. Dentures aren't all that much fun but compared to how unwell I was before getting proper treatment, I can so do the dentures!

Please hang in there. I do know how awful what you're enduring is, and I know how hard it is to give the go ahead to lose your teeth. But the benefits are so great that I urge you to let the dental school go ahead if that is what they believe is best.

Please update if you're up to it. Meanwhile I'll be praying for you.

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August 12, 20120 found this helpful

I need a tooth pulled immediately, but I do not have Medicaid or insurance coverage what are my options?

By JM

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August 13, 20120 found this helpful
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Call around and see if you can find a dentist that will let you make payments. Also, if there is a dental school in your area, they might pull the tooth, but where I live, the dental students only clean and examine the teeth. Some communities have community health clinics that have a dental office combined with the medical aspect, and the fees are figured on a pro-rated system.

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August 13, 20120 found this helpful
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Most areas have dental clinics for very cheap for people in your situation. They don't do the very best job, but you get what you pay for I guess. Also, your local community college & university should have dental students in school and do basic dental tasks for free when they are in the process of learning. They are supervised by the teacher, so you will be fine.

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August 14, 20120 found this helpful
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Call the county health department. Where I live the Health Dept referred me to another county department that gives vouchers to have a tooth extracted.

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August 14, 20120 found this helpful
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Call around to dental 'clinics' in your area. There are two dental clinics in my area and one of them pulls a tooth for free. If you aren't sure how to find them just call your local Department of Human Services and they will tell you where they are.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 12, 2011

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

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January 12, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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May 9, 20110 found this helpful

I am in need of periodontal work and have no insurance. Where is the most inexpensive place to get it done?

By William G.

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May 9, 20110 found this helpful
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If there are no dental schools in your area, call the Department of Social Services. and see if there are any dental clinics in your area that charge you for dental work according to your income.

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By 1 found this helpful
March 21, 2017

My tooth hurts very badly. I have been to a dentist and he said I need a root canal, but I don't have insurance because I do not work. I came into the USA last year in December, so I don't have a job yet. What can I do to get a root canal without insurance?
Thank you.

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February 14, 20140 found this helpful

I am in desperate need for dental work. I am constantly sick with nausea and pain from my teeth not to mention I have lost my smile. I am 39 and all my teeth need to go they are in such bad shape. I have no insurance and I also separated from my husband of over 23 years due to an abusive situation. I have no income and have no where to turn. I am in Kentucky. Any suggestions?

By Ann

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February 14, 20140 found this helpful
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I was 43 when I finally got dentures, and that was after my divorce became final and I got 3/4 of the profit from selling our house. I had been having toothaches, and teeth breaking off for about 15 years. My husband at the time had a really good job, and I was a stay at home Mom, doing a little daycare in our home. Any extra money we had went to buy guns, hunting trips, fishing trips, etc.

After the divorce I did get a job, cleaning motel rooms without teeth. I don't think there is anyplace where a person can get free dental work. If there is a dental school near you check with them, some dental schools do actual dental work on patients, and some don't. Where I live the only things the dental schools do is exams and cleaning.

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November 7, 20120 found this helpful

Where can I find dental care in/around Nashville, Tennessee area for low income patients with no insurance?

By Kim

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November 8, 20120 found this helpful
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I would look in the phone book, also contact your county welfare department, they might help with that or have an idea where to refer you. If they can help you financially they will need proof of income. If you have a dental school in the area check with them. However, some dental schools will only do exams and cleaning. Most places that help with things like this will want proof of income and what you consider to be low income and you might not meet the income guidelines.

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April 7, 20150 found this helpful

I need teeth pulled, a root canal, and my partial fixed.

By Annie

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March 5, 20150 found this helpful

I need to have what's left of my teeth pulled and then be fitted for dentures, but I'm on a low, fixed income. Where can I find information about this in Washington? I have no insurance.

By Joyce

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By 0 found this helpful
March 10, 2016

I am here on a business and tourism trip. I'm not holding dental insurance. I have been suffering from a toothache and gum bleeding. But I don't know where to approach. Also I cannot afford expensive treatment. Please help me.

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February 28, 20150 found this helpful

I am a senior citizen in need of dental work, but I have no insurance. I would appreciate suggestions very much. Thank you.

By Yvonne

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January 2, 20140 found this helpful

I was recently permanently disabled and now on Medicare (Blue Cross and Blue Shield). I need extensive dental work done, but BCBS doesn't cover it. What can I do if I can't afford to pay for work I need done? Does Medicare have any other options offered to them?

My husband is on Social Security Disability and has no insurance because SSD said they were 2 years behind when he went to sign up for his insurance. Now he has nothing and was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. He takes meds everyday to try to somewhat control his symptoms! How can this be it? Seems so unfair that we payed into this while we could work, now he has no insurance until who know's when? And I can't get my dental work done. If anyone has any solution that they know of, let me know.

Thank You

By KK from Lockport, NY

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January 4, 20140 found this helpful

Some areas have dental clinics where you pay on a sliding fee scale depending on your household income. I'd suggest you call the Department of Human Services or you local health department to see if there is one near you.

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January 4, 20140 found this helpful

If you are near a university that has a dental program you may qualify for some work through them.
The truth is that many people need dental work that cannot afford it and have to find a dentist that will accept payments.
Medicare (or usually Medicaid for adults) does not cover dental work or hearing aids. Some states are different.
Most dental insurance plans cover very little over routine care.
A dental clinic is your best bet but they will not do it for free or not that I have ever known.

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January 5, 20140 found this helpful

Hi KK, your husband isn't on any government medical coverage? I am also disabled and i have medicaid and an HMO. Though when it comes to dental they only cover basics. Depending on his age you might also be able to sign him up for a discount prescription plan, I would also keep checking online (google) for any help on his medical which he should be able to apply for. With only the both of you having disability that is LOW income.

Now when it comes to dental, you have a few options, which a couple have already mentioned.
1 - looking for a dental school which will not charge you as much for the work (these will be students)
2 - Contacting local dentists to see if they have a payment plan
3 - Joining an additional coverage plan just for dental (they do have them)

Or since we are now in a world of bartering, maybe you have something you can barter to a dentist for the work or sell it for the cash.

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November 21, 20130 found this helpful

I am 19, have no dental insurance, no credit, and am on my own. I earn less than $600 a month in income and I am in some major pain. I live near Destin, Florida. Where can I find some help?

By Angela

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November 22, 20130 found this helpful

A lot of people are in your situation. If you have a social worker as if they know of any places where you could get dental care. I have a 21 year old grandaughter that has a two year old. She has been in pain with tooth problems for about two years. She is over income for our state Medicaid, but doesn't have enough income to pay for the dental work she needs. Where I live all the dentists, chiropractors, etc. have signs up saying that services must be paid for when received unless previous arrangements have been made. Have you talked to any dentists to see what arrangements can be made?

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November 22, 20130 found this helpful

When I was in your situation (many years ago), I was able to get help from my mom. Is that possible, even though you don't want to ask?

Second, in my area, we have a dental school, where the public can sign up to get treatment. It's either free or cheap, since you'd be treated by a student. But the care is pretty good. But you would go on a waiting list, so not really the answer for an emergency situation.

Third is to ask a dentist if you can sign up to pay a monthly fee for the bill (if your credit score is good).

Fourth, can you borrow from friends or anyone else, if you don't have relatives to help?
Fifth, is it possible to get a second job to get the $ to pay for dental bill? Temporary work, seasonal work?

Sixth, is it possible for you to get a job that pays more?

Seventh, with Obamacare, is it possible you'll get a subsidy? If you are in a state with expanded Medicaid. If so, you can buy dental insurance, starting 1/1/14.

No matter what happens with your teeth, I hope you find a way to learn a skill to get paid more, or you will face this problem repeatedly throughout your life. If you get a skilled permanent, full time job, you may be able to buy cheap dental insurance, and get health ins. paid for by your employer.

You also need to set aside a few dollars here and there (no buying Christmas gifts until you do!), to establish an emergency fund for things like this.

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November 23, 20130 found this helpful

Hi Angela, I live just above the bay from you, in Walton County. I found some info. for you, hope and pray it helps and you find relief.

Clinic List for Florida, this has tons of clinics with phone numbers, addresses , etc. (if anybody from another state needs this type of help, just change the last two letters at the end of the website address to your state letters)

522 Free, Low-Cost or Sliding Scale Clinics in Florida

http://www.need … ist&state=fl

Hope Medical Clinic
150 Beach Dr
Destin FL 32541
850-837-8424
Accepts: Employed, Uninsured
Income: At or below 200% federal poverty level
Fees: Free/No fee
Languages Spoken: English

Community Health Center - Freeport (Pan Care of FL)
479 East Highway 20
Freeport FL 32439
850-880-6568
Accepts: Uninsured, Underinsured, Insurance,

Medicare, Medicaid
Income: All income levels accepted
Fees: Sliding scale of fees based on income
Languages Spoken: English, Spanish
Services: Primary Care, Medical Services, Dental


Sharing & Caring, Inc. of Okaloosa County
(850)244-0778
Provides food and assistance for medicine, rent,
utilities, school supplies, personal care products,
and special needs. Services are supplied based
upon need and funds availability.


Crossroads Medical Center
(850)389-3015
Delivers quality primary health care and other
related professional services to low-income,
uninsured adults residing in Okaloosa and Walton
counties through creative collaborative partnerships.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 1, 2016

I myself don't need dental work, but my family and I are in serious need of information on how to get dental work done for my father. My father is a disabled man who is 44 years old. He receives Social Security disability (not SSI). He also receives Medicare, but as you know Medicare does not cover dental. Our local DHHS will not give him Medicaid because they say his income is too high.

Here is the list of things my father has gone through in the past few years. 3 years ago he had a massive stroke, blood vessel in brain burst, the doctors say he is lucky to be alive. The stroke caused serious complications including learning how to eat, walk, talk, etc. He also has seizures from time to time, both gran mal and petit mal seizures. He suffers from serious rheumatoid arthritis, he is losing weight and bone mass as we speak. He hasn't had a solid meal in 3 years. He is on an all liquid diet. In the past he has had multiple blood clots, caused from a blood disease. He is on all types of medications for these problems (too many to talk about) way too many. 3 years ago his teeth started rotting out causing a very bad infection which he has had now for years. It won't go away because he needs serious help. He is in so much pain that it takes everything in him to get out of bed. I'd say he is 80% bed ridden. As of now he has 2 teeth left with a bad infection. Now we have all learned that tooth infection can cause serious damage. He is a stroke survivor with many other issues.

He needs dental surgery ASAP. Of course he can't afford his own dental insurance and the new affordable dental care program won't take him because he needs this dental work done in a surgical room. We have been told it needs to be done at U of M Hospital. This is a medical necessity! For 3 years now we all have struggled to get him back to where he needs to be. No one will give us answers or even try to help. We've been told in order for him to get Medicaid he needs to take away Medicare, but if he does that then he still makes too much money for Medicaid. If he can't afford to live then why would we do that? Any answers or information or anything would he greatly appreciated. Thank you in advanced. God Bless.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 14, 2015

I am on SSI and have dental coverage, but it will not pay for partials. I have all my front teeth in fair condition. I only have 2 back teeth and need partials to eat. I cannot pay very much. My income is very low. Can you offer suggestions please?

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March 17, 20150 found this helpful

I need a tooth pulled and have no insurance.

By Carol

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March 12, 20150 found this helpful

How does that work? I don't have the money right now. I need my teeth fixed. I need cleaning, filling, Xray, and an exam now.

By RJ from Raleigh

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October 18, 20140 found this helpful

I broke my tooth in the front and it hurts so bad. I don't get money til November first and I went to Excel dental and did a exam and consultation. They said I need a root canal and crown, but won't do anything til I pay 1000 $, but I'm in so much pain. I can't eat, drink, or sleep. What can I do?

By Brianna

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October 20, 20140 found this helpful

You could check dental schools in your area where students will perform work on patients as part of their studies, or try to see if something on this website works for you in your area. Good luck!

http://www.nidc … h.gov/oralhealth ... blications/findinglowcostdentalcare/

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December 2, 20140 found this helpful

Roots canals have become big money makers for dentists. Everyone it seems needs root canals. I broke a tooth and the dentist prepared it as for a regular filling and it actually looked nicer than the original, for the cost of a filling. No root canal bs.

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June 3, 20140 found this helpful

I am 45 and I have periodontal disease. I have lost one inplant that I had on the top and now my front teeth are loose. I have a job, but don't make enough for dental insurance. If there is any program or anything that you could tell me about, please I need the help.

By Regina S. from Ripley, WV

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June 3, 20140 found this helpful

Two things you might try: If there is a dental school near where you live, you could get treatment for very reasonable cost there. The work would be done by dental medicine students under the supervision of instructors. A second thing to try is your church or worship center. You could make your need known to the leadership. There may be a dentist there who would be willing to work with you. Hope these help and best wishes to you.

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June 5, 20140 found this helpful

Well if you had an implant (don't these cost lots of money?) maybe you could ask the dentist who did this work to help with letting you make a monthly payment..

I have not heard of any "free" dental clinics in this country. Some of our dentists donate time each year to work in third world countries but it would seem that Americans should be able to find a way to have their work done when necessary. I usually agree and applaud these doctors but it would be nice if there were at least some "reasonable" clinics available.

I live near a university and we do have a dental school but even their prices are very high (but about 1/3 to 1/2 of the cost at a "regular dentist office). The problem with this is you have to qualify for whatever type of procedures they are working on at the time. Otherwise you are scheduled in their clinic where work is done by interns and the cost is higher. Emergencies are usually done by qualified dentists with students observing.

I believe I would try what the previous responder suggested and talk to someone at your church. They may know a dentist that will let you pay on time but probably not anything for "free".
If no help there then maybe try calling dentists and ask if they have a payment plan. I have heard that some will let you pay on time but require at least 1/2 be paid in before the procedure will be done.

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April 24, 20140 found this helpful

I am a disabled senior citizen and am low income. I am in bad need of a dental/denture program for low income senior citizens.

By Jacquelyn

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April 25, 20140 found this helpful

Check with your local Office of Aging.

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April 26, 20140 found this helpful

If you have a dental hygiene college close to where you live, they often do free cleanings, xrays, etc. Some services are offered based on your income, too.

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November 14, 20120 found this helpful

I'm a single grandparent, raising my grandchildren. I'm om state benefits, but the problem is that I need some dental work done on my mouth. I'm unemployed and have no insurance at all. Can someone help me to find a dentist or a dental school that can help? I live in Houston, Texas.

By Robin

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November 16, 20120 found this helpful

Do a yellow pages search or a 'net search to find a dental college in Houston. The fee is very low or they may work with your income bracket, etc.

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November 19, 20120 found this helpful

I found this link
http://www.ehow … tal-college.html

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By 0 found this helpful
August 31, 2015

Where in Fresno California could I get help on pulling a tooth? I am on disabiity and do not have dental insurance. My supplemental health insurance and Medicare do not cover my dental! Money is tight so I need something affordable. Thanks.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 8, 2015

I'm in bad need of help. I live in California around San Bernardino. I have an insanely bad toothache where I had broken a tooth around a year ago. I have no insurance and make barely enough to pay rent, bills, and food. Is there anywhere near me where i can get this fixed? I've read in several places that this is very bad and could even kill due to infection.

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February 4, 20150 found this helpful

At Christmas time near San Jose I bit into an olive with a pit that broke, shattered, my front tooth on my dentures. How do I get it fixed with Medicare as my insurance? I am on federal disability. Where can I get help?

By Gregory

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By 0 found this helpful
September 11, 2015

Does anyone know where I can find affordable dental treatment in San Jose Costa Rica? Some websites?

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February 25, 20140 found this helpful

We need emergency dental periodontal work with no money and no insurance in Seattle, Washington. Any suggestions?

By Patricia from Seattle

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March 23, 20171 found this helpful

There are a few medical needs that Medicare does not cover. Dental is one of those, with most procedures not covered. This is a guide about, "Does Medicare have dental coverage?".

A woman receiving dental care.

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September 1, 20170 found this helpful

Dental work is often very expensive. Finding a dentist that takes payments is a good way to get the dental care you need now and finish paying for it later.

A happy girl at a dentists office.

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January 12, 20110 found this helpful

I am just starting my first full-time job, so I do not have dental insurance and have not had for several years. Does anyone have any ideas?

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In This Guide
Dentist Examining Woman's Teeth
Saving Money on Dental Work
Categories
Budget & Finance Health InsuranceFebruary 8, 2013
Guides
A happy girl at a dentists office.
Finding a Dentist That Takes Payments
Woman Preparing to Brush Her Teeth
Dental Health Tips
A woman at the dentist.
Buying Dental Insurance
A woman receiving dental care.
Does Medicare Have Dental Coverage?
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