What to Do if You Don’t Have Dental Insurance

| November 2, 2012

dental insurance A toothache to many of us is one of the worst pains to cope with until we can get help. Add on a lack of dental insurance, and it becomes a financial ache as well.

If you lack dental insurance, you’re not alone. There are programs to make sure children have dental coverage, but not necessarily adults. The majority of Americans who do not get dental insurance through their employer-backed insurance plan do not purchase it on their own.

There are solutions. Keep reading to learn more and, if in need, don’t forget DexKnows general dentists.

Ask about a payment plan

Ask your dentist if a payment plan is an option. Many dental providers have a way for patients to make payments, especially for high-cost maintenance items like crowns. At the very least, you may be able to negotiate a lower fee.

If you do successfully set up a payment plan, pay the bill regularly or communicate with the dentist office if you are unable to make a scheduled payment. Otherwise you may face phone calls from a bill collector helping the dentist settle up some unpaid expenses.

Seek government assistance

Your state may have a program that covers dental visits. The Children’s Health Insurance Program, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, requires states to offer limited dental coverage to enrolled children up to 19 years old. Medicaid-eligible people may get help if they are under 21 years old.

Another option is going to a federally funded health center. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration lists supported health centers that will let you pay what you can afford.

Contact a dentistry school

A college of dentistry or dental assisting school may offer teacher-supervised clinics that focus on low-income households. It may mean a wait to see the dentist, but if it’s the only option, a wait may be worth it.

There may even be a clinical trial offered through an organization or university that pitches free or low-cost dental treatments to potential study participants with the specific problem that is being covered by the study. The website Clinical Trials lists clinical studies including medical and dental studies being conducted worldwide.

Look for charity help

There are nonprofit organizations that also offer free or low-cost dental help. One such organization is Dentistry From The Heart, a national nonprofit organization that relies on dentists and dental practices donating their time. Other ones are available depending on where you live. Contact your state’s dental association for assistance in finding one.

Search for discounts

Coupon mailers and online daily deal websites offer ways to get discounted dental services. While it may just be for preventive care, that kind of care helps keep more serious problems from developing.

Another option is to seek out a discount detal plan. A discount plan requires you to pay a yearly fee that makes you eligible for savings on procedures. The website Dental Plans can help you find a plan near you.

These are all tips to help you get the dental care you need even if you lack dental insurance. Don’t forget to check with dentists in your area to see what help is available locally. If you don’t have a dentist already, check through DexKnows to find a general dentist in your community.

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Category: Dentists, Health & Fitness

About the Author ()

Central Ohio journalist with 15 years experience at daily newspapers. Freelance writer and amateur photographer. Storytellers are my heroes, poets my idols and photographers my looking glass.