Face a dental emergency but don’t have insurance? It’s a tough break but an increasingly persistent problem in the US. Naturally, it’s scary and a little intimidating to need urgent dental care when you don’t have insurance. But don’t worry — there are still affordable ways to get the dental care that you need. You deserve great dental care — regardless of the insurance policy you carry. In most cases, we can work with you!
Having the right information — knowing what resources you have available — can help you control and plan for costs while getting the dental care you need. Your dental health is important! Take care of yourself.
What Exactly is Urgent Dental Care?
How urgent is your dental emergency? By definition, a dental emergency counts as any dental care that is not routine or planned for. But when you’re pinching pennies and don’t have dental insurance, urgent care is another question altogether. What can wait and what counts as a dental emergency you absolutely must address in the next 24 hours?
The following should be considered a 24 hour dental emergency:
- A loose or knocked out permanent tooth
- Intense tooth crown pain
- An injured jaw
- Incessant bleeding
The following still require dental care, but there’s no 24 hour need:
- Filling fell out but you’re feeling no pain
- Lost or cracked filling
- Broken or cracked teeth
- Damaged retainers
- Dull tooth crown pain
If you feel tooth crown pain around a particular tooth, try flossing that tooth. You may have a piece of food stuck between the gums that is causing the irritating pain. You could also try rinsing with mouthwash or warm salt water. This can help to loosen any stuck food and can also protect your mouth against infection.
Come Up with a Dental Action Plan
First, stay calm. It’s not the end of the world. You can — and deserve — to get the dental care that you need. Anxiety will only increase your pain and make the stress more difficult to deal with. Remember, you’re doing your best.
Call a dentist. If you don’t have one, talk to friends or family about dentists whom they trust. Or call us. Our dentist office is accepting new patients, even for dental emergencies — even if we’ve never seen you before. We don’t bite! We’re actually quite gentle.
Tell Your Dentist You Have No Insurance
You’d be surprised how many calls we get from people who don’t have insurance. Everyone’s got teeth — but insurance is another story altogether. We understand. We can work with you. In most cases, we can put you on a payment plan. We also accept CareCredit — financial credit designed for unexpected healthcare expenses.
Work with a Dental School
A great way to cut your dental expenses in half is to work with a dental school. Don’t worry — your mouth isn’t a guinea pig. Your dental care will still be performed by trained and experienced dentists. All work is supervised and checked by a qualified dentist. It just tends to take longer — since the student is learning and the supervising dentist will need to give the dentist-in-training pointers. Many clinics in your area will partner with these schools to provide affordable dental care to those who are uninsured.
Free or Government Clinics
You could also look online to see if any government clinics are offering dental services for free near you. Many dentists and dental professionals volunteer throughout the year to provide their services at no cost to those in need.
No Dental Insurance? The Benefits of a Dental Savings Plan
Many dentists offer dental savings plans in lieu of insurance. You could save 40 to 60% off the cost of dental treatment, depending on the specifics of the dental plan you join and the treatment you need. You essentially pay for bulk treatments up front, but it’s more affordable in the long run. Many plans can be activated within 24 hours — unlike dental insurance policies which tend to have a waiting period before they begin coverage.