Unfortunately, there are millions of Americans out there who do not have proper dental insurance. A part of these patients are jobless and so do not get coverage through the employer, while others simply cannot afford to pay for the dental care they need.
There is hope for these patients, thanks to the dental schools spread across the country where discounted dental care is available all year round.
How cheap is dental care through a dentistry school?
For example, a root canal treatment can be as expensive as $1,000+. Now at such a dentistry school, you can get the same high quality root canal treatment would at a private dentist, at only a fraction of the cost. Such a treatment costs on average between $300 and $400 with all the anaesthetics included. Thus, you have saved yourself as much as $600.
Then, a composite white dental filling is somewhere around $200 at the private dentist. If you choose to get affordable treatment at the dentistry school, you will pay only about $80 or $90.
Before you can actually join a discount dental program at a dentistry school there are certain eligibility criteria that must be met. This is why, you should contact the nearest dentistry school in your area, ask about the programs available, and also ask which are the eligibility criteria.
You do not have to worry for a moment because at dentistry schools the care is offered by dental students who are closely supervised by dental professionals. Some patients deliberately avoid getting treatments at the dental schools because of the time factor.
You need to prepare yourself to spend double, and sometimes even more the time typically needed for a certain treatment. If you can get a cavity filling within half an hour at the dentist, this procedure might take even two hours at the dental school.
Keep in mind that the students are learning and practicing and they need to stop frequently for the supervisor dental professional to check their work. However, if you can arm yourself with a lot of patience, and you meet the eligibility criteria, you can have access to a wide range of dental treatments offered in the dental school.
Types of affordable dental treatments offered at dental schools
- basic/preventive dental care- the most accessible type of dental care treatments at dentistry schools. These include professional dental cleanings, oral cancer screenings, full mouth examinations, and sometimes dental X-rays
- restorative dental care treatments- cavity dental fillings, extractions, etc.
- cosmetic dentistry procedures such as composite white fillings, dental bondings, and rarely you can also get dental implants at the dentistry schools at a fraction of the cost. Also, from time to time, the dentistry schools also offer special programs through which they offer dental braces.
Dentistry schools also offer emergency dental care treatments without a screening being needed. Make sure to research for dentistry schools in your area, as ask if they offer emergency dental care such as dental extractions for example.
If an extraction normally costs $100+, at the dental school you might have to pay around $60 with the anaesthetic included. Even more so, in case you need additional extractions within the same visit, you might get the other tooth extracted for only as little as $20.