When you're living on a limited income, every dollar counts. Unfortunately, cavities don't care if you're on a tight budget. Oral care should always be a priority, even if you don't have a lot of disposable income. Here are four tips that will help you get great dental care, even when you're broke:
1. Find a dentist that accepts Medicaid.
People who can't afford health insurance on their own may be eligible for Medicaid, a free health insurance plan provided by the government. In some states, Medicaid also includes dental insurance. If you live in a state that gives low-income people free dental care through Medicaid, all you need to do is find a dentist who accepts your health insurance. You'll receive free or affordable dental care, and the cost will be covered by your insurance plan.
2. Ask your dentist if they provide options for low-income patients.
Some dentists are willing to work with low-income patients. If you don't have dental insurance through Medicaid, your dentist may be willing to work with you on the cost of the treatments you need. Some dentists have a sliding scale for the cost of dental care based on patients' income. If your dentist cannot lower the price of their treatment, you can ask if they'd be willing to let you pay in installments. Sometimes paying for costly procedures over time can allow you to afford the care you need upfront.
3. Consider seeing a student dentist.
Student dentists are still in the beginning stages of their careers. While they have attended dental school, they still require more practice to hone their craft. If you're interested in inexpensive dental care, you can visit a dental college to have your procedure performed. Student dentists are supervised by more experienced dentists throughout the procedure, so you can rest assured that you are in good hands. If you choose this option, you'll be helping a student in need while getting the care you require.
4. Choose inexpensive restoration alternatives.
Restorative dental work can get expensive. Fortunately, there are often cheaper alternatives that you can take advantage of. Inexpensive restoration alternatives may not be as aesthetically pleasing as their more expensive counterparts, but they will allow you to achieve healthy teeth. For example, people with limited funds can choose dark-colored amalgam fillings instead of white composite resin fillings. Both types of fillings fulfill the same function, although amalgam fillings are more readily visible.
Contact a local dentist to learn more.