According to a survey done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 45-million Americans don’t have insurance. Therefore, they do not have access to regular dental care leading to the increased probability of oral infections and diseases. However, it is a myth that people cannot afford dental treatments without insurance.
Although there are several benefits of having dental insurance, it is still possible to afford dental care with no insurance. This requires some local research and determination. Some of the options for people with no insurance to get dental care may include dental saving plans, community dental care, free clinics, and dental schools.
Many dentists in the U.S. are accustomed to working with patients who don’t have dental insurance. Today’s article will highlight the importance of dental insurance. Furthermore, we will discuss the different dental payment plans for people with no insurance.
What is the importance of dental insurance?
Dental insurance is a type of health cover that funds for dental procedures, which are arranged by some medical or dental professionals. Usually, these dental procedures differ from one plan to another and may provide financial support to undergo treatments like a root canal, carry filling, dentures and tooth extractions procedures, etc.
Dental insurance provides a comprehensive range of benefits to the people who can afford it. some of the benefits include –
- Early prevention – Regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings are critical to identifying dental issues at an early stage. Most dental plans cover preventive visits at little or no additional cost.
- Dental insurance protects against risks that may damage the health of the teeth and gums. (1)
- The best rates possible are available to insurance plan members. Most dentists who partner with a dental insurance network have a contract to provide services at a set fee. This means that the out-of-pocket cost is less than the regular price of the treatment without insurance.
How can you afford dental care with no insurance?
Some of the effective ways to get dental care without insurance may include –
Personal Dental Fund
Usually, the average cost of dental insurance for full family coverage ranges between $325 to $680 per year. However, many people cannot financially support their yearly plans and end up losing their dental insurance. Creating a personal dental fund can help save up for professional dental treatment, especially when you cannot afford insurance. (2)
Low-Cost Dental Clinics
Although private dental clinics may not be ideal for receiving dental care, you may want to look for low-cost dental clinics as an uninsured person. These clinics are usually associated with public hospitals, community health centers, and non-profit healthcare facilities.
Community Dental Clinics
Most of the public hospitals are equipped with a community dental clinic. If not, the doctors at public hospitals usually refer patients with dental needs to some of the nearest community dental clinics. Or maybe able to see you to one. Another way to find a community dental clinic is to search for the nearest one around you on google maps. (3)
Dental school students often have a task to complete their clinical requirements. This includes on-the-job training and clinical experience before they can be licensed. Dental care at schools may not be free as most dental schools work on a sliding scale basis. However, it is a much affordable option to get dental care as compared to private dental clinics.
The only weak point of getting treated at a dental school is that the time spent in the dentist’s chair is much longer than a usual dental appointment. Usually, the students work under the supervision of a licensed dentist who may check their work carefully.
Dentists for Uninsured Patients
Most dentists who love to help uninsured patients to get the proper care that they need may have an in-house financing program. Such plans offer uninsured patients discounts or come up with a treatment plan over several months so that you can pay the cost of the treatment in installments. (4)
The best way to enjoy the benefits of this service is to be upfront about the payment options and let the dentist know how much you can afford to pay for dental care per visit. Such dentists have experience with patients who have budget concerns. It is advised to set up an appointment for a check-up and let the receptionist or the front desk manager know that you have dental health issues but no insurance coverage. Moreover, ask them if you can meet up with the dentist and discuss your payment options.
Free Dental Checks
Various healthcare organizations offer free dental health check-ups and dental-related services as part of a community social responsibility. These programs usually last for a few days only. However, the participants typically get a fully comprehensive dental check-up and professional tooth cleaning. (5)
You may find one around you through an awareness camp run by the organizers to involve the community.
Take away message
Dental insurance is a crucial asset that provides significant benefits to patients who want to seek dental care at private dental clinics. However, most of the people in the United States are not in a state of affording yearly dental insurance plans. Most of the time, such people avoid dental care and eventually suffer from poor oral health.
This often happens when they are not aware of the other options of getting dental care. Most of the community health centers and public hospitals consist of a dental unit that provides services at an economical rate.
Additionally, many dental schools also aid in helping uninsured people get necessary dental care. If nothing seems to be suitable, the personal dental fund can help to get proper dental care.