Five Low-Cost Dental Care Options

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dental care can seem overly expensive in our current economy and worth postponing, especially if you don’t have dental insurance. However, dental hygiene is extremely important to our overall health, including regular visits to professionals like this dentist in Silverton, Oregon.

Even if dental insurance is not currently available, there are several alternatives worth researching to find low-cost or even free dental care.

National Programs

Affiliated with the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) organizes regular research studies involving specific conditions. Those who qualify for a study receive free or low-cost dental care.

The Health Resources and Services Administration provide federally-funded clinics that allow you to pay what you can afford based on your income. These services include dental care along with other preventive care, and centers are located across the country.

Associated with the American Dental Association, the National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped provides dental treatment and preventive services to disabled and elderly people in need. All of the dental work and services are voluntarily provided by professionals in the industry.

State Programs

State programs might be easier to identify and access, especially if you call your state’s health department. Before calling, do some online research if possible in order to identify a contact person to talk with regarding your specific situation. Your contact person may be able to direct you to free or low-cost dental services in your local area, as well as how you can get them.

State services like Medicaid and State Aid, also known as Children’s Health Insurance Program, provide dental care for those under 21 who are considered low-income. Most states provide emergency dental care for those over 21 years of age through these programs.

Non-Profit Organizations

Preventive dental care is generously provided by dentists on a volunteer basis through non-profit and charitable organizations. The following list highlights a few of these organizations:

· The United Way

· Catholic Charities

· Mission of Mercy

· The Children’s Dental Center

· Project: Dentists Care

· Give Kids a Smile

Many of these organizations operate around the country and possibly in your local community!

Local Schools

Dental schools offer free or reduced-cost services through related clinics. Future dentists and oral hygienists work under the careful observation of licensed dentists and provide a wide variety of services. Basic care, like teeth cleanings, are often provided at no cost.

Arrange to Pay

Preventive dental care is extremely important for your overall health and well-being. If your financial circumstances have changed since you last visited your regular dentist, talk honestly with him or her about your options. Your dental professional may have connections for free or reduced-cost care, or may work with your situation using a payment plan that’s best for you both. There are also third-party payment plans that don’t incur fees, which also may be a possibility.

A change in your financial circumstances or a lack of dental insurance doesn’t mean you can’t receive good basic dental care. Your health is worth it!

Kelly Wilson is a mom and freelance writer who regularly visits a dental professional like this Dentist in Silverton, Oregon.

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