Finding an economical, cost-effective and cheap dentist is considered as one of the hardest jobs for the cost-conscious patients. The fact, that many dental procedures are not covered by health insurance, only adds to the severity of the situation. Interestingly enough, however, there are still some “tricky” ways of finding a cheap dental clinic or a dentist offering his / her services at a very low cost or absolutely for free.
Let’s discover how:
Going to a local dental school is considered an affordable way of finding a cheap dentist as many local dental schools provide dental care for free or at reduced cost. While you could receive dental or oral care from a dental student or resident in training, an experienced, skilled dental surgeon is always there to supervise the work. One of such examples is of the University of California Los Angeles School of Dentistry, that regularly needs people as patients for its residents and students. In 2008 alone, the school had 160,000 visits from such “visiting patients”. You should visit the American Dental Association website for a list of such dental schools offering free or economical dental care.
There are dentists that accept Medicaid and Medicare patients. Therefore, if you already have Medicaid coverage, your children under age 21 may be covered for preventative dental care. Medicare is a federal program for people age 65 and older; it only covers dental issues that are part of a medical treatment, such as jaw reconstruction. However, if a dentist is willing to treat patients who use these health care programs, which generally do not pay as much per service as other insurances, she might be willing to set up payment plans or work on a sliding scale for you.
You can also contact your state dental society to find local dental clinics that offer low-cost or charitable care to needy patients. For a list of such dental society clinics and their contact information, you can visit the ADA website.
Fortunately, in United States, the federal Health Resources and Services Administration runs some programs and dental clinics through its Bureau of Primary Health Care Such dental clinics provide dental services for free or at very affordable cost. For more details, you should visit the HRSA website.
If you meet certain pre-determined qualifications, you may be eligible for free or low-cost dental care through your state’s Medicaid program. Although each state develops its own guidelines for eligibility, and not every state program offers dental services, it’s worth visiting the Medicaid website to learn more.
Last but not least, while searching for an affordable dentist takes time, dedication and research, it can surely help you get quality dental and oral care in the long run and at a very affordable cost that could save you a lot of precious money. Therefore, to find a cheap dentist, you should definitely give a serious thought to the above-mentioned methods.