So what do you do when need dental work but you just can’t afford to get it done? I see this with a lot patients and it can be pretty challenging. There are a couple of ways to approach this.
#1: Prioritize the most important treatment. Ask your dentist which ones are the most likely to cause you pain or get worse so that treatment ends up being more expensive. If possible get these taken care of as soon as possible. If some teeth are so badly broken down that they aren’t going to be saved, you can often wait on these because even if they break more, they still need to be taken out and won’t significantly increase your cost.
#2: Seek out low to no cost dental services. These include free or low cost clinics or dental schools. These places generally have long waits and limited procedures they can do but any care you can get is better than nothing. You will usually find these types of places in mid to large sized cities.
#3: Practice good preventative care. Many cavities can be slowed down significantly or even stopped from progressing by practicing good dental health habits. Read our section on preventative tips for all our best information about what you can do! Also ask your dentist about getting a prescription for a prescription strength fluoride toothpaste like Prevident.
#4: Take a look at your budget and see if everything you’re spending is actually necessary. See if you can cut a couple of things out (like daily coffee from Starbucks) and start putting that money away towards getting some of your dental work done.
#5: Here are a couple more free programs to look into for specific situations…
For Veterans: https://www.aspendental.com/about/healthy-mouth-movement
For Kids: Search for local offices that participate in Give Kids a Smile Day
#6: If you don’t have insurance, ask your dentist about a discount by paying up front. Some dentist’s will be willing to discount your fees in certain situations and it doesn’t hurt to ask.