Affordable Dental Care for Low-Income Adults

Having been one of the most problematic social branches for many years, oral health and dental care is being paid much more attention now. However, the situation is not the best one.

Millions of Americans still do not have access to any affordable dental care, to a qualitative and the most necessary treatment procedures. In the same time, any untreated dental problem will affect the whole body, causing other, bigger health problems.

The fact is that the way we look at thing and at ourselves is highly influenced by our health conditions. It’s really difficult to be happy, to work efficiently, to spend precious time with the family, and to feel teeth pain in the same time.

That’s why low-income dental care at least is needed. But there are always people who don’t have money or even don’t know a place where they can have uninsured dental care.

Private health insurance could be used, but most of them don’t include dental coverage. Those that include cost much more.

The information presented below is based on the 19-year-old to 64-year-old adults’ experience elaborated by the Kaiser Low-Income Coverage and Access survey. All of them have incomes at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Affordable Dental Care Facts: Low-Income and Dental Insurance

  • 59% of low-income adults have no dental coverage:
  • 38% have no insurance coverage at all
  • 21% have insurance coverage that doesn’t include dental care

Most of these people are likely to have gone without routine dental care and to have postponed or foregone care. In the same time, people without dental coverage have more chances not to get the routine dental care or to be able to get the needed dental care at all.

Affordable Dental Care Facts: Uninsured/Insured

  • 50% of insured people with dental coverage don’t have dental check-up
  • 73% of insured people without dental coverage don’t have dental check-up
  • 83% of uninsured people don’t have dental check-up
  • 9% of insured people with dental coverage are unable to get the needed dental care
  • 18% of insured people without dental coverage are unable to get the needed dental care
  • 17% of uninsured people are unable to get the needed dental care

Even having dental coverage about 55% of low-income adults reported that they didn’t have access even to affordable dental care. Half of them had no dental check-up for the last few years, while the other half couldn’t have low-income dental care when they really needed it.

The reasons seem to be clear: the coverage of needed services is limited, low-income families can not afford to high leveled costs, even those provided with Medicaid do not have enough providers in their area. Other causes are low quality transportation, cultural and psychological barriers, work arrangements, child care arrangements, lack of time and many others.

Affordable Dental Care Facts: Unhealthy/Healthy Patients

  • 71% of unhealthy people have no dental check-up
  • 65% of healthy people have no dental check-up
  • 19% of unhealthy people are unable to get any dental care
  • 12% of healthy people are unable to get any dental care

These last numbers show us that low-income adults in poor heath and financial difficulties have greater risks not to get the necessary, affordable dental care than those in good or excellent health who have more possibilities to get the low-income dental care and check-up. However, the difference is not big and varies. The truth is that untreated dental needs compound other chronic health problems.

It was also discovered that most families have financial difficulties after having the necessary affordable dental care. More than a half have problems with paying medical bills, about 40% spend less on basic necessities, and half of each category described above are not reporting about their inability to get any low-income dental care.

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  • Dillain Berzowski

    Thank you for the very informative details on dental care. I have been searching high and low for some good statistics on the subject and your research has proven to be an invaluable resource. Thanks for sharing your results.

    After reading your article I thought you may be interested in mentioning discount dental plans as a viable alternative to getting low cost dental care. They are significantly cheaper than dental insurance premiums, have no yearly caps, can be used for pre-existing dental problems and have nearly instant activation. Of course, these are not the same as dental insurance but they do offer some great savings for any dental service needs and make the dentist all that more affordable.

  • Brenda Knight

    I need cheap dental insurance. I am 64. I need a crown replaced because it hurts most of the time. Also, I have a dead tooth now that I had crowned years ago, and it has begun to hurt again. Those are the main issues. I would appreciate a plan that I could afford on my limited income. Thank you.


    I need some dental coverage, but do not have the income for it. I am 64 and have an abessed tooth that had a root canal and temp filling, that came out, plus I have a tooth below that is crowned that a prior dentist drilled for a root canal and could not do it, so now I have a hole there. I also have a tooth that the gold crown came off and has to have another crown, I am desperate and in much pain. I live in Philadelphia and need to get to a dentist, but cant find any one that can help me without paying over 3,000 dollars. Can someone help me. Thank You.

  • Michelle

    I am 43 years old and I have been fighting with teeth problems for many years often fighting abcesses I am on constant antibiotics because I can’t afford dental insurance or to go to the dentist. I have decided that the best way to fix the problems is to just get dentures. does any one know where I can find a Dentist that will take payment’s I live in the Reed City Michigan area and I have bad credit. please can some one help

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