It’s been said that, “A smile is the best cosmetic,” but finding a dentist you can develop a lasting relationship with is challenging. Many of us inherited our parents dentists through adolescence. But a newer dental practice is likely able to offer a wider range of modern treatments, including cosmetic dentistry and implants for dentures.
Of course, finding an affordable dentist is another issue altogether and can greatly impact your choices. Many Americans struggle to pay for dental care and, those that are lucky enough to have insurance are often on plans that lack good, comprehensive dental coverage. It’s true: finding an affordable dentist isn’t easy. Studies published by WorlDental.org tell us that many Americans put off dental work simply because they lack access to low cost options. The problem is that postponing dental upkeep can result in other health problems as well as worse dental health in the long run. Here are some low income dental solutions that may help you in the process of finding a dentist should you be struggling.
The best possible low cost dental option is something called “Financing on Approved Credit,” or FOAC, which facilitates a monthly payment plan with little or no interest involved. A thorough regional search may turn up a practice that offers in-house payment plans that are less difficult to qualify for since they don’t require an outside lender. These scenarios are somewhat rare, but not impossible to find.
If qualifying for a finance plan isn’t an option due to previous hardships and credit woes, here are some additional possibilities to aid in finding a dentist:
Dental school departments at colleges and universities often provide an impressive array of services and treatments. While it’s natural to feel apprehensive about letting students work on your mouth, most of the work is tightly overseen by professors and department heads. Each step of the way during a dental school treatment plan, an accredited teacher must sign off on the student’s decisions, so you actually are getting multiple opinions as you go.
Community dental clinics are all over the country and low cost options — even free care — is sometimes offered. You may have to call quite a few clinics to find something that will suit your needs, but it never hurts to ask. Start with the phone book or a Google search specific to your area.
They do exist! And they provide quite an assortment of services via dental outreach programs. Be prepared to demonstrate your needs and the reality of your financial situation in order to qualify for this type of care.
Low income families and individuals may qualify for dental coverage provided by Medicaid through the state in which they’re living. Services for adults tend to be limited to non-cosmetic, medical-necessity-only care, but dental care for children through Medicaid is quite comprehensive. Also, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is another state-funded resource for kids that need dental care, although coverage varies from state to state. Lastly, volunteers for clinical trials are often sought out by national organizations, including multiple departments of the National Institutes of Health. Depending on the scenario, you might end up eligible for a low cost dental care as a result of participating.