Looking for a cheap dentist without insurance? It can be frustrating, daunting, overwhelming, irritating, and downright stressful trying to navigate our health care system if you’re below the top 1% in terms of wealth.
The good news is that you can most likely find the dental care you need, at a price you can afford (even if that means free). There are countless nonprofits, charities, and benevolent dentists across the country who care more about equitable access to oral health than making money. it’s just that finding them can be difficult.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of the top resources out there for affordable dental care for those who don’t have insurance but need dental treatment, or are underinsured, either due to funding or insurance issues. eligibility.
so read on to learn about:
- non-profit organizations
- programs funded by the federal government
- free clinics
- local resources
- emergency care
- monthly premiums
- annual maximums
- waiting periods
- Professional teeth cleaning: $75-$200
- Deep cleaning: $150-$350
- root canal: $700-$1,000
- tooth extraction: $75-$800
- implants: $1,500-$6,000 (single tooth)
We’ll help you decide what to do if you don’t have dental insurance. The treatment you need at a price you can afford is probably available, so don’t give up until you find it. Your first step might be to call the number below to connect with a dentist in your area and check their prices without insurance.
dental expenses without insurance
How much does a visit to the dentist cost if you don’t have insurance?
Let’s start by looking at some of the costs of common dental procedures.
If you’re looking for dental care for uninsured adults, chances are you’re already aware of the exorbitant costs of routine dental work. so since we have clearly identified the problem, let’s talk about some of the solutions.
I don’t have dental insurance and I need help
: It’s something no one should have to google. But the unfortunate truth is that about 1/3 of adults in the United States do not have any type of dental benefit coverage. and many of those with some dental benefits are underinsured, meaning they still can’t afford the care they need. Either that, or they’re paying more than they can afford in monthly premiums or their deductibles.
The good news is that there are programs that can help. chances are you can find help paying for the dental work you need, the problem is a general lack of awareness that these programs exist. so let’s take a look at some of the ways you can get the dental work you need, even without insurance.
But before you begin, it’s important to understand that it may take some time and effort to find a program that can help you. In this article, we’ve provided a place to start, but it’s up to you to make the necessary phone calls and do your due diligence to find a program that works for you. And don’t give up if you’re not successful at first – your dental health is extremely important, and chances are you can find the help you need.
We’re including this as your first resource because it’s imperative to know if you need help finding housing, general medical care, dental services, and a wide range of other services as well. anytime you’re looking for local resources, you can always call the united way worldwide number. simply dial 2-1-1 and you’ll be connected to a vast information network of professional, highly trained and knowledgeable representatives.
The line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can be accessed by phone or computer. It is a free and confidential service, and you can find information about a wide variety of services, including medical and dental care.
If you don’t have enough money to pay for a dental insurance plan, or if you don’t have dental insurance through your health care provider, your first stop should be to see if you’re eligible for Medicaid and If your state offers Medicaid dental services.
Your eligibility for Medicaid depends on whether or not your gross income (before taxes) falls below the federal poverty level in your state. these levels change slightly each year, but you can check this year’s levels here.
To learn more about how Medicaid works and how to get help signing up, you can read our full article on Medicare and Medicaid Dental Coverage.
Even if your state doesn’t offer dental care on Medicaid, you should be sure to sign up if you’re eligible, because you never know when you might need medical care.
If you’re looking for affordable dental care or affordable braces for adults, dental schools are a great option. Chances are if you live in a city, there is a dental school near you and they will offer you excellent care at a price much lower than what you would have to pay in a regular clinic without dental insurance.
Dental schools often have clinics where their students work to gain experience treating real patients. and you can be sure that the attention you will receive will be of good quality because these are students who are reaching the end of their studies and preparing to go out into the real world, some even starting their own internships.
In addition, each student is supervised by a licensed dentist with years of training experience. You may even be able to find specialized care at certain dental schools, such as orthodontic care for braces.
When considering a dental school, make sure it’s associated with the American Dental Association; you can search for a program near you here.
Also, you shouldn’t wait until you have a dental emergency to seek treatment. at least annual routine cleanings are an important part of prevention, so you should also consider dental hygiene schools for dental cleanings without insurance.
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and other reputable medical organizations sometimes seek participants in their studies, whether they are testing a new way to reduce pain during procedures or a better way to remove wisdom teeth. These clinical trials are both government and privately funded, which means they are free or low cost to you if you are seeking dental care without insurance.
It’s natural to wonder if this is a safe option or not. First, keep in mind that no treatment is 100% safe for everyone, whether you pay thousands of dollars or nothing at all.
But you can be sure that clinical trials are just as safe as expensive dental care because before any new treatment can be tested in humans, it must first go through years of research in laboratories.
Also, Congress has passed laws to protect study participants, with rules like: Every clinical investigator must make sure all participants are safe. You can read more about the basics of clinical trials, including your safety as a participant, on the National Institute of Health page here.
And if you decide you’d like to participate in a trial, you can see what trials are available here.
In general, dentists want their patients to be able to afford dental care because they are passionate about oral health. dentists also understand that dental work can be too expensive for many of their prospective patients. For this reason, many dentists offer discount dental plans so their patients can see a dentist without insurance.
A discount dental plan is like having dental insurance, but there are some important differences. With a discount plan, you can avoid the following:
You pay a membership fee and in return get discounted rates on the care you need. You can check out our dental savings plan article here for more information.
One of our top picks for discount dental plans is flossy. they give you discounts of up to 50% on treatment, and there are no membership fees. Plus, it’s easy to sign up and find a dentist through their app.
flossy is working to expand and they are currently available in pennsylvania, new jersey, arizona, michigan and new mexico.
You can also follow the link below to dentalinsurance.com and you will be able to search and compare discount plans offered by dentists and dental insurance plans in your area.
Another option might be to take out a loan for your dental work.
A loan will allow you to pay for expensive procedures immediately and then you are responsible for repaying the loan over several months or years. Before you apply for a loan, make sure you’ll be able to repay it within the payment deadline, otherwise you could end up owing a lot more.
If you want to see what your loan options are, you can use the supermoney loan search engine, where you can find and compare dental personal loans. click the button below to get started.
There are tons of non-profit organizations across the country that offer affordable dental care to the uninsured and in need of a dentist; the following are some of the most popular:
dental lifeline network
This nonprofit organization provides free, comprehensive dental care to people with disabilities, the elderly, and the medically fragile who cannot afford the treatment they need and cannot get public assistance. their program, donated dental services, operates in every state, and you can find your state’s program by clicking here.
mission of mercy (arizona, maryland, pennsylvania and texas)
mission of mercy provides free medical care, dental care and prescription drugs to people who are uninsured or do not have insurance that covers the treatment they need. they are an independent faith-based organization that receives no government funding.
This gives them the freedom to provide care with no prerequisites, so you don’t have to provide residency or financial information. you can go to their website and then navigate to your state from there to find an upcoming clinic.
foundation for dental care of the united states
adcf is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in wichita, kansas with partners and events across the country. They support a multitude of charity clinics that provide free oral health care to anyone who attends. they also offer comprehensive care clinics for specific populations, such as veterans in need of dental care.
To find a clinic or program near you, you can check out their event map here. If there are currently no events listed for your area, you can scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will find a list of all the various organizations across the country that they collaborate with.
give me a smile
If you need dental treatment because you have experienced domestic abuse, or know someone who does, you may want to consider the Bring Back a Smile (GBAS) program, operated by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Charitable Foundation.
gbas helps women and men who have suffered dental injuries from an intimate partner, spouse or family member. They also provide services for men and women who have dental injuries due to sexual assault. head over to their website for more information and to take a look at the eligibility requirements.
special care dentistry association
the special care dentistry association (scda) is an international organization that provides oral health services to people with special needs. They partner with professionals from several organizations, including the Hospital Dentistry Council, the Dentistry Council for People with Disabilities, and the Geriatric Dentistry Council. complete your referral form here to find the help you or a loved one needs.
To learn more about dental care for people with disabilities, read our article here.
give the kids a smile (gkas)
If the average cost of a dental visit is too much for you, it doesn’t mean your children should go without care. This program is run by the American Dental Association and provides free oral health services to underserved children across the country.
To find dental care for your child through this program, go to this page where you can find clinics by state, or contact them to ask if there is a Give Kids a Smile program near you.
In the following video, you can see a dental student’s inspiring account of a gkas event in arizona.
local health centers
Wondering how to get your teeth fixed for no money? health centers may be your answer. Health Centers are community-based organizations that provide high-quality primary health care services to people who are uninsured or underinsured and cannot afford the private costs of dental care.
they receive their funds from medicaid, medicare, private insurance patient fees and other sources, such as hospitals, federal funds, donors, etc. health professionals and support staff at local health centers offer culturally competent care and are often multilingual.
Health centers are safe places to receive quality dental care. they must meet strict requirements in order to receive federal funds. You can read more about organizations like these in our free dental care article.
To find your local health center, go to their search page here.
state and local resources
Your local health department is a great source of knowledge when it comes to finding low-cost dental care. all you need to do is call your local health department and ask about their financial assistance programs. To find your department’s contact information, search for your state here.
united form throughout the world
For other local resources, you can always call the united way worldwide number as mentioned above. just dial 2-1-1 and you’ll be connected to a vast information network. the line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can be accessed by phone or computer. It is a free and confidential service, and you can find information about a wide variety of services, including medical and dental care.
Need major dental work without insurance? If you need a large and very expensive dental procedure, like implants, you may be able to save money by traveling to another country for your dental treatment. watch out.
If saving money is your primary goal, one of the best options for US residents is to cross the border into Mexico, where you’ll find a wide network of clinics offering quality care with English-speaking doctors.
You may be hesitant to choose this option because of the horror stories you’ve heard about foreign clinics, but that’s no longer the reality. Clinics in other countries can offer affordable care because the cost of living in those countries is much lower than in the United States.
These clinics cater to dental tourists and rely on positive reviews to keep their practices open. just make sure you do a lot of research on the clinic you want to go to and read more about dental tourism.
in the following video from the daily show with trevor noah, michael kosta heads to mexico to interview people who have had their dental work done there. He also interviews an Arizona dentist who says that while people should be cautious when considering dental tourism, he would rather get the treatment they need in Mexico than not get it at all.
dental emergencies and no insurance
if you have a dental emergency and you don’t have insurance, try to find an emergency dentist near you by calling united way or your local health center as mentioned above.
You can also visit this freedentalcare website. They have organized a database of free and sliding dental care clinics across the country. Most clinics will have an emergency number on their website that you can call if your emergency occurs outside of normal business hours.
If you are losing large amounts of blood or are in excruciating pain and believe your life is in danger, visit the emergency room. If you want to read more about what constitutes a dental emergency, you can check out our article here.
if your emergency occurred in the last three months
if your dental emergency occurred in the last three months, you are eligible for medicaid, and your state provides dental medicaid benefits, you may be able to apply for retroactive medicaid. This will cover your emergency dental fees, but only for bills up to three months prior to the date of your request.
this is a very complicated process and we do not recommend completing the retroactive medicaid form on your own. for help with the process, find a health care navigator. browser services are absolutely free. They know the health care system very well, and if it turns out that you are not eligible for Medicaid, they may be able to connect you with other help to finance your dental emergency with no money.
To find a navigator near you, go to this healthcare.gov search page and type in your location. will show results for agents, brokers, and browsers (helpers), so make sure you choose the browsers or helpers option.
dental care for illegal immigrants
No matter your immigration status, you have teeth and those teeth need proper care! You can check out Informed Immigrant and find trustworthy non-profit organizations that can help you find the dental care you need.
About 74 million Americans, including children, college students, and seniors, don’t have dental benefits, so chances are you or someone you know needs low-cost or free dental work without insurance. If you don’t have dental insurance, even dental cleanings without insurance can be too expensive. Not to mention repairing an abscessed tooth without insurance.
It can be hard to find the care you need, but the good news is that with a little searching, you can probably find treatment you can afford. follow our tips above and never hesitate to ask for help.
It’s even worth asking your local dentist’s office if they offer low-cost services for the uninsured, and if they don’t, they may be able to point you in the right direction.
While you’re figuring out how to find an affordable dentist near you, you may want to have an online consultation with a teledentistry appointment. For a small flat fee, you can get advice from a licensed dentist and learn more about the treatment you need. They may even prescribe pain relievers and antibiotics if you are in pain due to an infection. Read more about teledentistry in our guide here.
Finally, you may not have dental insurance because you think you can’t afford it. But dental insurance is much more affordable than regular health insurance, so you’ll likely be able to find a plan that fits your budget.
For help finding a plan, visit dentalinsurance.com. make it easy to find a wide range of affordable plans in your area.
frequently asked questions
how much does it cost to go to the dentist without insurance?
Depending on your financial resources, the costs of going to the dentist without insurance can be very high. you can take a look at these costs for a better idea.
Can you go to the dentist without insurance?
If you’re looking for affordable dental care without insurance, the good news is that you absolutely can go to the dentist without insurance, given a few things. it all boils down to finding a dentist or clinic that offers free or reduced-cost care.
Follow the tips listed earlier in this article or call United Way at 2-1-1 to speak with a highly trained representative who can help connect you with the care you need.
how can i find an uninsured dentist near me?
If you’re looking for dental care without insurance, chances are you can find it, but you may have to do a bit of searching. By following these tips, you’ll likely find what you’re looking for. you can ask your local health center or local dentist if they offer sliding scale fees. You can also go to freedentalcare.us and type in your zip code to find a free or low-cost dentist near you.
You can also call 866-383-0748 to check out dentists in your area and check prices without insurance.
See also: Can I Get One-Day Car Insurance? (2022)