If you don’t have dental insurance, you may be assuming that you can’t visit your dentist. You might be thinking, “I’ll just have to go to the emergency room if I have a problem with my teeth.”
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
But, in fact, there is a way to beat the system and still get coverage.
There are many ways you can find affordable dental care without insurance. Caring for your mouth is important and you shouldn’t forego it.
Dental Care And Your Overall Health
When you care for your mouth, you’re caring for your whole body. When one part of you is unhealthy, it affects the rest of the body.
For example, if you get a dental infection, yes, your smile will be affected. But poor oral hygiene is associated with other health issues, like diabetes, heart and lung diseases, and pregnancy complications. And if you have an infection in your mouth, that will definitely impact your nutrition as it will be more difficult to eat a health diet.
According to the American Dental Association, 29% of adults in a low-income bracket say that the poor condition of their oral health negatively affects their ability to interview for a job. And 25% say it affects their social life.
And at least two out of five of these types of adults say it’s difficult to chew their food because of their poor oral hygiene. A big reason for this is a lack of access to proper dental care, mainly for folks with lower incomes. The cost of dental care is the number one reason don’t visit the dentist regularly — across the board.
Can You Get Dental Work Without Insurance?
As of 2016, 74 million Americans had no dental coverage whatsoever. That’s 74 million people who are susceptible to a myriad of health problems, not just oral health problems.
That’s 74 million people who are susceptible to a myriad of health problems, not just oral health problems.
And, honestly, that’s understandable. Health insurance premiums are pretty high, and going to the dentist without insurance is even more expensive.
Just take a look at this chart showing the average cost of common dental services in the United States:
|Procedure||Cost with insurance||Cost without insurance|
|Teeth cleaning||Free (twice a year)||$127|
|Cavity filling||$102 – $163||$204|
|Wisdom tooth removal (per tooth)||$416||Up to $750|
|Root canal||$333 – $608||$957 – $1,156|
So what can you do? If you’re one of those 74 million people with no dental insurance, where can you turn?
First, let’s bust the myth that you can’t go to the dentist if you don’t have insurance. You can. Whether you need major dental work or just a basic cleaning, there are ways outside of dental coverage to save money on dental visits.
Affordable Dental Care For The Uninsured
Here are just a few ways you can save on dental care:
- Get a dental discount plan — even if you already have dental insurance, you can get a discount plan. Oftentimes, you can use both together to maximize your savings.
- Go to your local dental school to get a more affordable teeth cleaning.
- Find a dental clinic in your community and get care if you have a lower income.
- Consider dental tourism, which is where you go on vacation abroad and get much cheaper dental care in the country your visiting.
- Talk to your dentist about setting up a payment plan.
Think about how much money you could save if you implemented all of these methods. Hopefully, you can see that visiting the dentist is still very possible even without dental insurance.
Find Dental Care Near You
So if you need an affordable dentist, you can look into these two methods.
- First, you can contact the Bureau of Primary Health Care at 1-888-Ask-HRSA or visit their website to find a health center in your community.
- Second, you can go through the United Way — they can help you find low-cost dental services in your area. You can either call them at 703-836-7112 or visit their website.
If people simply do their research (which you’ve done because you read this article), they will realize there are plenty of way to get dental care that won’t empty their pockets.
So, yes, you can definitely visit the dentist without having insurance.