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Low-Income Affordable Dental Care

Are you having trouble finding an affordable dentist? According to the American Dental Association, cost of care is one of two primary reasons American adults - regardless of income or age - tend to forgo dental treatment.

People have a hard time finding affordable dental care from dental professionals who are trusted, experienced, and conveniently-located. If you happen to be one of the millions of Americans who is skipping out on regular dental checkups because you just can’t seem to find the right affordable dentist , there are providers right in your area who offer low-income dental options, and 1-800-DENTIST can help you find them.

Affordable dentists provide quality dental services with flexible payment options. That can mean dental services are priced using a sliding scale, so lower income patients pay less for the dental services they receive. It can mean offering financing options on approved credit (FOAC), so dental patients can pay for their dental services over time. It can also mean offering free dental services, or providing dental care at discounted rates.

This is so important. Anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of trying to manage a toothache knows all too well that your dental health impacts your overall health. Not giving your teeth the proper attention can contribute to significant health issues and lead to costlier dental problems later.

Finding a Low-Cost Dentist Near You

One concern people have about finding a dentist is the idea that getting quality dental care will require them to pay top dollar. Finding an affordable dentist does not mean you are trading quality for price. It simply means you have more payment options. Here are a few other low-cost dental options for you to consider.

Dental Schools

Often dental schools provide a menu of different services at reduced fees because most of the dental work is performed by dental students, under the watchful guidance of their instructors. Scheduling an appointment with a dental school in your area is a good way to get quality, low-income dental services. You may even be able to find dental hygienist schools to provide preventative dentistry services.

Dental Clinics

Like a private dental practice, a dental clinic provides a variety of dental services. Dental clinics tend to employ multiple specialists, hygienists, and dental assistants to service more patients faster. The dental clinics near you may also offer extended hours during busier times of the year. Some even provide after-hours emergency care, free initial consultations, or free x-rays for new patients.

Dental Charities

Dental charities offer outreach programs to help people get access to dental services. Dental charities, like most community-focused charities, have limited resources. As such, they focus on providing free dental services to the segments of the population who are most in need.

Clinical Trials

National organizations like the National Institutes of Health frequently need volunteers for clinical trials. Perhaps you have seen the notices in the Classifieds section of your local paper, or seen advertisements on the bus or television. As a participant in the study, you could get access to free or low-cost dental services.

Public Aid

There are multiple joint-funded Federal-State government assistance programs that can connect you with low-income dental services.

Health Insurance Marketplace

The Health Insurance Marketplace helps people find affordable insurance options based on the cost of monthly premiums, annual out-of-pocket costs, deductibles, co-pays, and types of medical services covered.

Federal tax credits are available to those who enroll with the amount of the tax credit increasing as annual income decreases. Tax credits can be used proactively to cover a portion of your monthly premium costs.

Medicaid

Medicaid is a Federal-State health insurance program for low-income families. Most states provide Medicaid for residents under the age of 21. Health coverage is available to minors, seniors, the disabled, and pregnant women. Medicare does not cover dental care.

Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

The Children’s Health Insurance Program is a Federal-State health insurance program that provides needy children with health and dental coverage. There are currently 8.9 million children under the age of 19 enrolled in CHIP.

While public assistance programs vary from state to state, you can usually apply for dental coverage through the agency that handles the financial assistance needs of families and children in your county.

You Have Options

If you need an affordable dentist in your area, don’t fret. You have options. Figure out the dental programs for which you qualify, and choose the option that works best for you and your family.

You may be surprised to learn that many insurance providers offer dental coverage at rates that are significantly lower than the cost of obtaining health insurance. Most people who do not qualify Medicaid or CHIP can find low-cost dental coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, or take advantage of the dental services offered by dental schools and dental clinics nearby with flexible payment options.