It's a quandary affecting many who have no dental insurance: You might not be able to afford routine dental care, but if you neglect your teeth, you're more likely to end up with a painful toothache, a dental infection or a broken tooth. If you find yourself with an aching jaw and no insurance (or money) to pay your dental bill, there are options that can help. Read on to find out how to get your dental problem taken care of without breaking the bank.
Apply for a Dental Credit Card
Believe it or not, there are actually credit cards out there that are meant to be used to pay for healthcare not usually covered by insurance. These types of healthcare include dental services, eye prescriptions and even veterinary care for your four-legged friends. Call your local dentists and find out whether they accept any of these forms of payment.
The lending terms tend to be a bit more forgiving than those of traditional credit cards, so apply even if you don't have the best credit. If you're declined, you might be able to get a cosigner to help boost your odds of being accepted. Many of these cards even offer several months of interest-free payments, so be sure to ask.
Visit a Dental Clinic
In some areas, the local health department will run a dental clinic one or more days per week. While there are often income requirements, you might qualify for a sliding fee based on the money that you have available. Even if you are sure that your health department does not offer this service, call and inquire as to whether you can visit the health department of a nearby town or if they have any other resources for people in your painful predicament.
Ask for a Cash Discount or a Payment Plan
If you already have a dentist and have been putting off seeing him or her, try calling and explaining your situation. In some cases, dentists will offer a discount to cash-paying patients of record. This means that you would have to pay the bill upfront, but you might save a nice chunk of change, making your dental visit more affordable.
It's possible that you don't have enough cash available, even with a discount. If this the case, try asking for an in-office payment plan. While most dentist no longer offer payment plans due to the advent of the dental credit cards, yours might if you are a longstanding patient. You might even offer to allow them to run automated payments off of your credit or debit card; this can help the dentist feel secure that the bill will, in fact, be paid.
Barter Your Services
While it's not traditional, it's possible to barter services for dental care in some cases. Do you clean houses for a living? Maybe you could offer a week or two of free office-cleaning in exchange for having your sore tooth treated. You might even gain a new client, once the free service period is over.
Other services that you could offer include painting the rooms, steam-cleaning the carpets in the waiting room, handling their blog or social media accounts, or laundering and pressing the employees' scrubs. You can read more about how to barter at MoneyCrashers.
If All Else Fails....
If you are truly unable to get a dentist to see you while you are having a dental emergency, it's possible to be treated in the emergency room. Excruciating pain or intense swelling are signs that you need to be seen immediately. Particularly if combined with a fever, these symptoms could indicate a serious infection. If you do need to resort to going to the emergency room, you will be treated regardless of whether you have the money for it. Also, your medical insurance will likely pick up at least part of the tab.
Once you get this dental crisis taken care of, use the above tips to procure routine dental care. After all, you know what they say about an ounce of prevention! Continue here to learn more and to find emergency dentists near you.Share
11 November 2014
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