A serious toothache and no insurance can certainly lead to a major emergency and thousands of dollars in dental bills. Dentistry can be very expensive, but that is why having regular access to dental care is important not just for your teeth but also for your pocket book.
During this tough economic time one of the first benefits cut by many employers is dental insurance. Millions of Americans today are without good medical and dental insurance. Those that are even more unlikely to have inadequate dental care are low-income and the unemployed. A recent report from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics revealed that only 30% of Americans will actually purchase dental insurance for themselves if their employer does not provide it. Also 40% of those without a high school diploma have no insurance at all.
Now if you have a toothache and no insurance there are resources available. Many dental assisting schools and colleges of dentistry provide teacher-supervised clinics that offer a variety of dental services for low-income households. The disadvantage of these clinics is usually a long wait time, which if you have a toothache might not be an ideal situation.
Some private practices offer charity services for those who qualify. Usually once a year, TenderCare Dental will participate in nationwide charity events such as Give Kids a Smile or Oregon Mission of Mercy. It is during these events that you can sign up or show up to have dental treatment ranging from cleanings, fillings, and other general dentistry treatments.
If you cannot find free care there are many private practices and state subsidized clinics that offer sliding-scale fees or payment plans for those without insurance. Discount dental insurance networks may also provide more affordable coverage, be advised to do your research so as not to be scammed.
There is really not reason to avoid the dentist with all of these options, especially when your dental and overall health could be at risk. If you are having trouble locating a dentist, dental assisting schools, clinics, and your local health department can point your in the right direction.