Where Can I Find Low-Cost Dental Care?
Today, many people elect not to carry dental insurance, even when they can get it subsidized through their employer. At Smile Designers of Longmont, CO, we don’t advise going without dental insurance, but we realize many people do go against this advice.
The problem, of course, is just because you don’t have dental insurance doesn’t mean you don’t need dental care. Eventually you will, and without insurance the costs will be out of pocket.
So how can you find affordable dental care when you’re uninsured? Here are some suggestions, tips, and resources.
Find a Reliable Dentist Who Will Work With You
If you don’t have insurance, call around and talk to a few dentists. Tell them you’re uninsured. You’ll notice something.
Some will immediately shut-down. They’ll want to schedule you, of course, but they won’t offer much help because you’re uninsured. Their feeling is that it was your choice to decline dental insurance so you’ll just have to suck-it-up and pay out-of-pocket.
Other dentists, including the Longmont dental offices of Smile Designers, will be far more accommodating. We’ll talk to you about payment plans and affordable alternatives to procedures. We’ll guide you to resources (as we are doing in this very article) where you can get financial assistance. We won’t shut our doors on anyone who needs immediate dental care without exploring all reasonable payment options.
This is a litmus test for choosing a dentist if you’re uninsured. Choose a practice that is happy to work with you and understands your financial concerns.
Use Your HSA
If you don’t carry dental insurance, we advise that you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) plan. These plans let you put money into a special account used exclusively for health care costs, which includes dental. The money you put into the account is taken out of your paycheck pre-tax, so it lowers your tax burden and helps you put money aside for medical expenses.
Save as much as you can in your HSA and budget for both periodic dental check-ups and potential emergency procedures.
If you elect to only get your teeth checked every few years, using your HSA for dental checkups isn’t a bad option. It’s not optimal, but it works for people who don’t have many oral health issues and do a good job of taking care of their teeth.
Take Excellent Care of Your Teeth
Here’s some basic advice. If you don’t have dental insurance, be extra diligent about taking care of your teeth.
Your oral health is largely in your own hands. Being 100% consistent about brushing and flossing will do a lot to help you prevent emergency dental care.
Of course your diet plays a huge role. If you don’t have dental insurance, not drinking soda or other sugary drinks is a really smart move. Same goes for eating candy. Don’t smoke (or vape), and by no means should you use chewing tobacco.
We wish we could say that the uninsured patients who come in for a check-up once every two or three years all have excellent check-ups because they take great care of the teeth.
However, the opposite is often true. Not carrying insurance is not the best decision, and unfortunately for some people making bad decisions is habitual.
If that sounds like you because you have no dental insurance but insist on engaging in behaviors known to be bad for your oral health, it may be time to assess some of the broader decisions you’re making in life. Take care of yourself so you don’t find yourself facing a dental emergency you can’t afford to pay for.
Where Can I Find Low-Cost Dental Care?
The US Department of Health & Human Services offers some excellent suggestions on where people who don’t have insurance can find affordable dental care or get financial assistance for dental care.
- Local Health Departments – Contact the Bureau of Primary Health in your area. They work with federally-funded community health centers that provide low-cost health care, including dental care.
- Medicare – If you are over 65 or you have a specific disability, you can get limited help with dental costs. Note that Medicare does not cover most routine dental care or dentures.
- Medicaid – For eligible individuals and families, Medicaid will cover some types of dental benefits. States set their own guidelines so check in your area. Most states cover limited emergency dental procedures for people older than 21. For people under 21, most dental services are covered by Medicaid.
- CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) – CHIP helps children under the age of 19 who are uninsured. In most cases this includes dental services, but exact coverage varies from state to state.
Other Affordable Dental Care Resources
If you’re really struggling to pay for dental care, consider going to an American Dental Association dental school. These are teaching facilities for dentists in training, and you can get some types of dental procedures at a reduced cost.
Similarly, dental hygiene schools offer basic cleanings and other low-cost preventive dental care at a reduced cost if you’re willing to work with dental hygienists in training.
To find more information on reduced-cost dental care, call your local or state health department. They will have information on financial assistance. Also, the United Way may be able to direct you to local low-cost dental services.
Contact Our Longmont Dental Clinic
If you’re uninsured and in need of dental care, please reach out to our Longmont dental office. We’ll help guide you towards dental health you can afford.
In fact, we offer dental care coupons and promotions that will save you serious money, including:
- FREE AT-HOME WHITENING TREATMENT
- $20.18 EXAM: A $300 VALUE
- $39.99 PREVENTATIVE CLEANING (PROPHYLAXIS)
- $100 OFF ANY TREATMENT OVER $500
You can’t afford to let your dental health get to the point where you need emergency treatment, especially if you don’t have insurance. Take care of yourself and use the resources listed here to get preventative care you can afford. Nothing pays off in the long-run like healthy teeth and gums.