Getting Dental Work Done Without Insurance

February 6, 2014

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. :/


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

By Sierra S.


February 7, 20143 found this helpful
Best Answer

Look around and see if there are any dental schools near you. They generally offer discounted dental plans and are well supervised by dental instructors. Generally, only the advanced students at the end of their education near graduation are allowed to work on clients. Also, call your state dental association and ask if there is a dentist near you that has a budget plan. You are eligible for Obama care with such a low income. Have you looked into that?
Cathyb from MA

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February 8, 20145 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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41 More Questions

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.

January 30, 2014

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?

By RL Taylor


February 2, 20142 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, 2013

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


July 21, 20136 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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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?

By Jacqueline W


March 10, 20142 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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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.


March 21, 20171 found this helpful
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You could call local dentists and ask if they offer a payment plan. Or, search if there are any local organizations that offer free or little cost for you so students could practice.

Good luck!

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August 12, 2012

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



August 13, 20122 found this helpful
Best Answer

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, 20123 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, 20121 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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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


January 12, 20111 found this helpful
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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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January 12, 20110 found this helpful
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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.

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April 4, 2018

I need dental work. I'm on Social Security and can not afford losing my teeth. I have 5 broken/missing and some cavity pain.

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May 9, 2011

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

By William G.


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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November 7, 2012

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

By Kim


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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November 9, 20121 found this helpful
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I go to Aspen Dental here in Washington State and they are wonderful. There are four locations in the Nashville area and since you don't have dental insurance your initial exam, xrays and consultation are free and they will work with you on a sliding wage scale.

2153 Gallatin Pike
Madison, TN 37115

440 Sam Ridley Pkwy West
Smyrna, TN 37167

604 South Cumberland St.
Lebanon, TN 37087

445 Highway 46 S
Dickson, TN 37055

Google Aspen Dental with the area you're most interested in for the phone number to make an appointment.

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May 30, 2018

I'm in desperate need of help. I'm only 41yrs old, I'm on disability for severe fibromyalgia and I have an autoimmune disease, Shogrens Syndrome that deteriorates my teeth. I haven't had the money to go to the dentist regularly and I'm terrified I'm going to need dentures at 50. I've been researching online, but I can only find clinics that will do just preventive work. I needs implants, bridges, etc. I could put a dentist's kid in college for what I need done. I'm scared and just need some good advise.

Thank you. :)

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November 21, 2013

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


November 22, 20131 found this helpful
Best Answer
  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. Fourth, can you borrow from friends or anyone else, if you don't have relatives to help?
  5. Fifth, is it possible to get a second job to get the $ to pay for the dental bill? Temporary work, seasonal work?
  6. Sixth, is it possible for you to get a job that pays more?
  7. 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
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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

Hope Medical Clinic
150 Beach Dr
Destin FL 32541
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
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
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
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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April 7, 2015

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

By Annie

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February 14, 2014

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


February 14, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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June 13, 2018

I have no dental insurance, but I am in desperate need of free or low income dental care in the Laurel, MD area. Please point in the right direction.


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March 5, 2015

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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