Dental care can seem like a low priority in our current economic climate, but basic services can cost less than you think.
Regardless of price, regular visits to a professional like this dentist in Oregon City is necessary for overall health. A recent estimation states that one in four Americans go without dental insurance coverage – and probably dental care – each year. Although it seems like you need insurance, there are many other options to consider when figuring out how to receive basic dental services regardless of your economic status.
Research Free Options
Oral hygienists and dentists volunteer their time and talents with non-profit and charitable organizations, hosting free clinics for children and families across the country. These non-profit organizations provide basic dental services for people who qualify, usually according to income. Some of these groups include the United Way, Mission of Mercy, Project: Dentists Care, Give Kids a Smile and Smiles for a Lifetime. Your local dentist or state health department may know of additional free clinics in your area.
Seek Government Assistance
Because basic oral hygiene is so important for our present and future health, it’s worth looking into government assistance regarding your dental needs. Medicaid and State Aid provide dental services for those who are considered low-income and under 21 years of age. Children can also receive care through the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) program.
Assistance for adult dental services varies depending on your state and may only cover emergency procedures. The best way to find out is to talk to a contact person about your specific situation. Call your state’s health department or search online to find the best people to contact.
Apply for a Clinical Trial
Clinical trials come with free or greatly reduced dental care. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) conduct research trials that require volunteers. If you have a specific oral or dental condition, contact this resource to see whether you qualify to take part in a study.
Go to a Local School
Dental schools in your area may offer services through an associated clinic. Dental students work under the observation of licensed dentists, and provide a low-cost alternative for good dental care. There may also be a local Dental Hygiene school that can offer preventive services at reduced cost.
Enroll in a Payment Plan
If you’ve visited a particular dentist for an extended amount of time but your economic circumstances have changed, talk with your dental professionals about your situation. They may be able to work with you when it comes to an individual payment plan. Another option often available involves third-party payment plans that can either supplement or substitute for dental insurance. Generally, there are no fees involved with this option.
Good basic dental care can seem like a priority that we can afford to postpone, especially if dental insurance isn’t available. However, there are many options worth exploring that ensures our overall health at a fraction of the cost.
Kelly Wilson is a mom and freelance writer who visits a dental professional like this Dentist in Oregon City on a regular basis.