No Dental Insurance? No Problem.
Find dentists for people without insurance in your town.
Just because you don't have dental insurance doesn't mean you're forever cursed to live life with a toothache, you just need to find dentists for people with no insurance. Chances are you'll be able to work out a low price and even an affordable financing plan, if it comes to that. Not all dentists will turn away those who can't afford dental services upfront, it's just a matter of finding one that will work with you.
If you've got a cavity, need a root canal or even need a tooth extraction (that's dentist speak for "pulling a tooth"), don't put off getting it fixed. It will only get worse. And research has shown that tooth problems can lead to even more severe health problems. For example, the American Dental Association (ADA) has linked gingivitis and gum disease to diabetes, and research has shown that tooth decay and cavities can increase your likelihood of a heart attack. That's some pretty scary stuff. Don't leave your health (oral health and overall health) to chance just because you dont' have insurance and can't afford to see a dentist.
Finding A Dentist Who Will Work With You
Finding a dental office who will help you out if you don't have insurance isn't easy, but it's not impossible, either. In fact, it's probably actually easier than most people realize - but it will require some work on your part.
Start by calling the dentists in your area. Be upfront and tell them that you need their services but have no insurance and can't afford much. Chances are they won't hang up on you or laugh in your ear, they'll actually be sympathetic to your situation. You'll probably find that even the dentist offices that can't help you directly will gladly refer you to either another dentist who will work with people with no dental insurance, or a community resource that will aid you in your quest. Sometimes they won't volunteer this information, so you might have to ask for it.
Contact your local health department. There are plenty of community resources available for people who need dental work but can't afford it. One of the first stops should be to your local health department (or similar government agency, if you don't live in the United States). Tell them about your toothache, cavity, chipped tooth, broken tooth or whatever your ailment is and explain your insurance and financial situation. Some large municipalities might even have a direct link to someone who can help you out for free that day! While that's the best case scenario, the point is that they can help you out, thanks to connections within the health care industry that the average person wouldn't have.
Do you have health insurance? Maybe it will cover dental work. Sometimes general health insurance covers certain types of dental work. This is becoming less and less common, thanks to a runaway health insurance industry in the United States, but there are still some health insurance plans out there that will at least help put a dent in medical bills. Call a representative from your insurance company to find out if this is the case.
Talk with your local homeless shelter. Social workers who work at homeless shelters might be able to tell you who they send their homeless patrons to when they need a dentist; and clearly these folks dont' have insurance or the means to pay either. Then call these dentists up and tell them your situation and mention where you got the contact information from. You might be surprised at how effective this little trick really is.
Talk to your community health clinic. Most cities, towns and counties have a federally or state funded health clinic to help out people without insurance or the means to afford proper health and dental care. They will likely have a network or dentists who will work with people without insurance, and if they don't they can probably make a few phone calls and find some. Again, their own network is likely bigger than your own, so this is a huge resource.
What If None Of This Helps?
Still can't find a low cost dentist for people with no insurance? Dont' despair, there are still some options left to explore. While they're not a perfect solution, they might be worth considering, based on your individual situation.
Look Outside Your City. If you can't find a dentist for people with no insurance in your home town, why not start calling around in surrounding cities? You might just find exactly what you need. If you can get yourself there (a cheap bus ticket is sometimes all you need if you don't have your own car) you might actually get the dental work done that you need. What is the inconvenience of travel compared to the pain of needing a root canal? Or a cavity drilled? Or an abscessed tooth pulled?
Get A Job With A Company That Offers Dental Insurance. Is this an immediate solution? No. But if it's all you've got, it's all you've got. Most employer insurance programs will provide dental insurance as part of their overall package, and will do so at a discount price. Be aware that you might have to go through a "waiting period" before you can officially sign up.
Buy Cheap Dental Insurance. If this is your only option, it might be the only way to go. Most insurance companies offer low-cost dental-only insurance that you can buy for less than $50 per month. The downside is that you may have to wait several months before getting any dental work done, because the insurance companies won't pay for pre-existing conditions.
Find A Dentist On A National Database
The American Dental Association has plenty of resources available for people in your situation, and can probably connect you to someone who can, at the very least, help you find a dentist for people with no insurance within driving range or your home. Sometimes simply contacting them and asking for help can get the ball rolling - one phone call leads to another, and then to another, and before you know it one of the dentists who wasn't able to help you earlier is willing to get you in.
There's no point in dealing with tooth pain simply because you can't afford to get it fixed. Not only will it ruin your quality of life, it could actually endanger your overall health. With a little work on your part, you shouldn't have too much trouble finding a dentist for people without health insurance.