Did you know 30 million Americans were uninsured in the first half of 2020? Fortunately, this number has dropped dramatically from 48 million in 2010. However, it’s clear many people still struggle to afford medical services.
Dental services are no exception. In fact, even many patients who invest in general health insurance don’t have dental insurance.
Dentists generally recommend two checkups per year. But even a single checkup can be a financial struggle for patients searching for no-insurance dental care.
You never want to have to ask yourself, “How do I find an affordable dentist near me with no insurance?” However, should you find yourself in that situation, it’s good to be prepared.
We’re here to fill you in. Keep reading to learn how to find cheap and free dental care even if you’re uninsured.
Understand the Benefits of No-Insurance Dental Care
Many standard health insurance plans don’t cover dental work. This can make it challenging to have basic procedures completed, let alone extensive treatments. In fact, only 65% of American adults visited a dental clinic in 2019.
The cost of dental care is primarily considered the number one reason why patients don’t schedule appointments. Dental insurance plans are generally cheaper than standard health insurance plans. However, they can still be a financial burden for low-income or unemployed patients.
Many people don’t realize that simple dental services are often very affordable. In fact, they typically cost as much as, if not significantly less than, a year’s worth of dental insurance premium payments. That means, if you only go for a yearly checkup and teeth-cleaning, it may be more economical to pay out of pocket anyways.
If you fear you’ll waste money by paying for dental insurance, create a monthly dental care savings fund instead. Rather than paying for insurance, you might never use, you’ll instead have an emergency dental care fund already on hand.
Discover Affordable Care
For some, insurance can be a significant asset if they require extensive preventative care. Preventative care can save you thousands of dollars in the long run, so it’s critical to find a cheap dentist near you if you’re uninsured.
Many states offer Medicaid dental services. Research your state’s Medicaid program details to see if you’re eligible for their financial support. If you’re a parent, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides affordable coverage for you and your children.
If you’re looking for low-cost dental clinics, search for dental schools in your area. Often, student doctors will provide affordable dental care to patients. Experienced dentists closely supervise the procedures to ensure the students provide quality care.
However, you can likely find affordable no-insurance dental care from your local dentist. Many dental offices offer discounts for patients without insurance.
Others operate on a sliding payment scale. This means that your service cost will depend on your income. If you require extensive care, many offices will help you plan a staggered treatment plan, so you pay for only one service at a time.
Thousands of dentists also partner with CareCredit. CareCredit allows patients to pay for their visits in installments. They even have interest-free options available in some circumstances.
Find Free Dental Care Services
Many patients without insurance head to the ER as a last resort when faced with a dental emergency. Unfortunately, ER doctors rarely can do much for dental emergencies. As a result, patients end up leaving with exorbitant bills.
Many uninsured patients who head to the ER simply don’t know about free alternatives for dental emergencies. However, it’s easier to find a free dental clinic for adults than you may assume.
Many towns have community dental clinics where you can receive free care. There’s a good chance it’s run by your public hospital, so reach out to see if they host a local clinic.
Independent charitable organizations, such as United Way, also operate dental clinics. These are a good choice for those searching for emergency dental treatment. Most states have free clinics available, and there are numerous organizations nationwide, such as Mission of Mercy, that station them.
The National Institutes of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) and many dental schools regularly seek study volunteers. These typically offer free limited-run dental services, and some institutions even pay volunteers. If you’re looking for a particular service, it’s worth investing in your eligibility.
The final way to access free dental services is by creating an at-home dental care routine. If you’re intent on circumventing dental care costs, it’s imperative that you are vigilant about caring for your teeth.
It can’t be overstated: brushing and flossing your teeth is crucial for protecting your teeth. Even if you can’t fully service your teeth at home, caring for your teeth can prevent a cavity from leading to a root canal. Focusing on preventative care is the easiest way to keep costs low as an uninsured patient.
Learn the Basics of No-Insurance Dental Care
It can be daunting to find quality yet affordable dental care for adults without insurance. However, no-insurance dental care is more accessible than many realize. With the proper resources and the tips above, you’ll be able to take care of your teeth should you ever find yourself without insurance.
Here at Boise Family Dental Care, we are dedicated to providing only the best dental services for you and your entire family. Our team is happy to provide you with more information on our services and staggered treatment options. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.