If you are struggling to afford dental care, know that you’re not alone. Financial limitations such as not having enough cash to pay out of pocket, being unable to afford the remaining percentage on complex procedures, or lacking insurance altogether, are the main reasons that nearly 53% of Americans delay dental care .
The problem here is that not getting the much-needed oral care now, will end up costing you much more in the long run, both in terms of dental problems and money. So, we’re going to help you fix this, by giving you some resources for where you can find affordable dental care.
5 Places You Can Go to Receive Affordable Dental Treatment
There are a wide variety of resources available for affordable dental care, which we will outline below.
1. Choose a Dentist That Offers Flexibility
The first recommendation here is to look for a family dentist that offers both general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry treatments under one roof, as this will help keep the costs down.
The second thing to look for is a dentist that takes both Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) and Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) insurance plans, as they will be able to help you maximize your in-network benefits, and provide competitive pricing if you are out-of-network.
The third thing to look for is payment plan options. The types of financial plans that are usually offered are interest-free for 6, 12, 24, and 60-months through third-party programs like CareCredit, LendingClub, and Wells Fargo Health Advantage.
If you are in the Brandon, Florida region or nearby, Family, Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry provides affordable dental care and hits on all of the above points mentioned. A bonus with us is that if you have insurance, we accept close to 50 different insurance plans, so you’re likely to be covered at reduced costs or low costs. And, if you’re uninsured, Family, Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry also has two membership plan options that you can pay into so that you don’t have to go without dental care at all.
2. Look to Dental Schools for Reduced-Cost Treatment
A great second avenue to take a look at, is dental schools in the Florida region, as these are an excellent source for getting good quality and reduced-cost dental treatments. Keep in mind that these are teaching facilities, so those working on you will be dental students, who are gaining experience in providing dental care. They are supervised by licensed and experienced dentists.
This also applies to dental hygiene schools, which may offer supervised, low-cost preventative dental care and maintenance treatments. If you are eligible and qualify to join, you’ll receive good quality care from those training to become dental hygienists.
3. Local Health Departments & Community Health Centers
Next, take a look at the local health departments in your region, and see if they have any federally-funded community health centers near you. These community centers provide either free or reduced-cost health services, which include dental care. You can expect either low fixed prices or sliding fees based on what you can afford. These types of publicly-funded clinics will have services for dental exams, cleanings, root canals, fillings, crowns, surgical tooth extractions, and x-rays. Some may even have dentists on-call for emergency situations.
4. Consider Non-Profit Free Dental Clinics
While these might be a hit or miss due to their long waitlists, it is another avenue you can try if you’re looking for affordable dental care. There are numerous charities, faith-based groups, and even professional dental organizations that donate dental services to those who are struggling to find affordable dental care. The caveat here is that some may have cutoff times, some may only serve the elderly, and others may require proof of disability or medical conditions.
A fantastic way to find some non-profit clinics in your area is through 211.org - a comprehensive resource with more than 200 local organizations and agencies dedicated to helping you meet basic needs like transportation, healthcare, food, and housing. They have numerous organizations helping them operate like United Way, Community Action Partnerships, Goodwill, and local crisis centers. In using this resource, they may be able to put you in touch with a non-profit clinic that takes individuals with low incomes or no insurance on a first come - first serve basis.
5. Look into Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP (Government Options)
It is important to look into the federally-funded government options, as you may qualify for affordable dental care through their programs.
- Medicare is health insurance for those 65+ or for those who have specific disabilities. The dental coverage is limited, but it is something.
- Medicaid is a state-run program that, in some cases, has dental benefits for both individuals and families. For those under 21, dental services should be provided under Medicaid, while those over 21 can gain access to limited dental emergency services and some comprehensive services.
- CHIP is for children, 19 and under who do not have health insurance. They provide medical coverage, and in most cases, dental services as well. What dental services are covered varies depending on the state you are in.
When it comes to dental treatment, procedures are expensive, especially if you are uninsured or are low-income. The places above are fantastic resources that you can use to find low-cost dental services in the Florida region.
If you’d like to come for a dental visit and/or have any questions, feel free to get in touch today.