When you’re running low on money, one of the first things to go is taking care of your oral health. Unfortunately, regular dental care is something that can’t always be ignored. In fact, your oral health has a direct impact on your overall health.
If you’re interested in getting your oral health back on track, but you’re worried about dental care costs, then you might be wondering how to find free or low cost dental care in your area. Read on to learn all about your options to ensure you don’t break the bank when visiting the dentist!
Search for Local Dental Clinics
When you think of free clinics, you probably think of your standard doctor’s office. Many local governments, however, recognize that oral health is just as important as standard medical care. For that reason, it is not unusual to find that a major city has a clinic available for people with low-income.
These clinics are staffed by well-qualified dentists and dental hygienists who donate their time to ensure that their community’s oral health needs are being met. Some of these clinics offer these services for free, while others operate on a sliding scale based on your income level. If you find one in your area, be sure to call ahead to see if you have to bring any income verification documents.
Not every city and state has the funding to set up a free or low cost clinic for their citizens. That doesn’t mean that you’re out of luck, though. There are several charitable organizations that run clinics across the United States for various segments of the population.
For example, Dental Lifeline has clinics in all 50 states for people who are 65 or older and for those who are permanently disabled. There are also similar programs throughout the country that assist children with braces.
Not all of these clinics are permanent, however. Some operate in one area for a day or two and then move on to another city. Do some research to see if one of these clinics is coming to your area in the near future. Even if they aren’t, keep an eye on their website or social media to catch them if they come to your area at a later date.
Follow Local Dentists on Social Media
Dentistry might be a lucrative business, but that doesn’t mean that every dentist is in it purely for profits. In fact, many dentists like to give back to their local community by offering free or discounted services.
Typically, a dentist will schedule one or two days in which basic services, like cleanings and fillings, are free to the community. How do they get the word out? Social media, of course!
Look up the dentists in your area on social media spaces like Facebook. Keep an eye on their page to see if they have a free dentistry day coming up. Be sure to get there early, if they do, so you don’t have to be there all day waiting to be seen!
Look for Specials
In packed markets, local dentists often need a little bit of an incentive to get people in the door. For that reason, they’ll advertise deeply discounted services to establish new client relationships.
Scroll through dentists in your town to see if any are offering any specials for first-time clients. Even if you aren’t having a dental emergency, it’s a boon to have an established relationship with a dentist in the event that you have one.
Check with Local Dental Schools
Long before a dentist becomes a dentist, they have to go through dental school! Dental school is about more than spending time in the classroom learning about oral health. It’s just as much about spending time with actual people and assisting them with their oral health needs.
Dental schools offer services that come at a deep discount. They are closely monitored by licensed dentists to ensure that the care you receive at a dental school is just as good as the care you’d receive at a traditional dentist. If you go the dental school route, be sure to block off plenty of time because it might take a bit longer.
Work With Your Dentist
Sometimes, all it takes to keep your dental costs low is a conversation with your dentist. Dentists know that the cost of dental care can be overwhelming for many people in the community. For that reason, many are willing to work with you on structuring a payment plan.
For example, Boisedentist.com has a number of different options available for people who cannot afford to pay for all of their care upfront. Don’t be afraid to talk to your dentist about your financial situation, they know that many people are in need of low cost dental care.
Consider a Dental Discount Plan
Maybe you’ve considered getting dental insurance, but the cost is too high. Maybe the deductible makes it pointless. There’s another option out there, though — dental discount plans!
Dental discount plans work similarly to dental insurance. You pay a low monthly premium and you get dental services at a discounted rate. Unlike dental insurance, however, there isn’t a deductible that you have to meet in order for the discounted services to kick in.
Dental discount plans are available through most dental insurance companies, and some dentists might even offer their own plans.
Are You In Need of Free or Low Cost Dental Care?
When you’re short on money and in need of a dentist, the prospect of finding free or low cost dental care can seem overwhelming. The best thing you can do is to explore your dental care options long before you find yourself with an emergency. Even something as simple as signing up for a dental discount plan can radically transform your oral health without breaking the bank.
Are you interested in learning more great ways to care for your health? You’ve come to the right place. Check out the rest of our blog for lots of ideas that’ll keep you feeling great for years to come!