Top 10 Tips to Get Affordable Dental Care

Just check out this top 10 list on how you can access affordable dental care, and you might get rid of your dental problem sooner than you can imagine.

1. Take part in medical/research studies
Research online to find clinical studies that are currently running, and see if there are any which offer free dental treatments in exchange for volunteering. A good starting point would be to check out the main website of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Some of the usual dental treatments offered for participating in such research studies include wisdom tooth extractions, simple extraction root canal therapies or professional dental cleanings.

2. Dentists offering treatment on a sliding fee scale basis
If you are low income or uninsured, you should know that there are plenty of dentists who offer treatments on a sliding fee scale basis. This means that the fee charged for the dental treatment will be adjusted to your income. In other words, dental treatments will be made affordable to you, since you will not pay more than you can actually afford.

Make sure to contact United Way locally, or the charitable/health organizations in the area and make enquiries about such dentists. On the main website of the ADA you will instantly get plenty of addresses of such organizations in your area. Just send a few emails and make some phone calls, and you will surely find such a dentist.

3. Dental Savings, coupons, vouchers
It is not unusual nowadays to find a discount voucher of 30% on the next cavity filling, or a savings coupon of 25% for a dental X-ray online. There are plenty of websites displaying such vouchers and coupons, which can be printed directly from your home computer and then used next time you go to the dentist. Start with researching on the daily deals websites.

4. Buy a dental discount plan
These plans are available from major providers, and the plans offer you discounts between 10% and up to 60% on a great variety of dental treatments. Anyone can purchase such a dental discount plan, and prices for an individual plan are somewhere between $80 and up to $140 per year.

5. Low cost/free dental care at dental schools
Locate the dental schools in your area and then check to see if they have any dental treatment options available. Dental students need to get real experience by working on patients, but they are always supervised by licensed dentists.

Treatment time will surely take longer than what you are accustomed to at the private dentist, but it is definitely worth the wait since you can save even up to 70% on important basic, preventive, or restorative dental treatments such as dentures, bridges and sometimes they even offer dental implants at a reduced cost (you only have to pay for the dental lab materials, and not the usual dentist fees).

6. Negotiate with your dentist
Dentists need work, and you need the work performed by the dentist. Therefore, dare to negotiate with your dentist the prices for the treatments that you need. Dentists know there are many patients out there in financial trouble, and they are willing to offer discounts, custom tailored payment plans and many other such solutions meant to help you get access to affordable dental care.

7. Upfront payment for the dental treatment
It is not uncommon that dentists offer discounts on the spot even of up to 25%, if the patient can pay upfront for the treatment. Especially if you need expensive restorative dental care such as bridges or dentures and you can pay upfront, you can save hundreds of dollars from the overall cost if you will make an upfront payment.

8. Choose dental tourism
Now you might ask yourself how on earth could you afford dental tourism if you cannot afford to go to the dentist at home. However, with plenty of financial planning ahead, and especially if the type of treatment you need can wait, then you can save thousands of dollars. So why pay $3,000 for your dentures at home, when for the exact same price you could get dental implants in countries such as Mexico, Thailand, Poland, Hungary or other countries.

9. Prioritizing dental work
If you need dentures, a root canal treatment and a professional dental cleaning as well…but you cannot afford to pay for all the treatments right now, ask the dentist to perform the treatment that is most important first. In this case, first you will get the root canal treatment, while the dentures can be postponed for a later date. An abscessed tooth cannot “wait” anymore, but a missing tooth can be replaced after 3 months as well.

10. Dentistry from the Heart
Dentistry from the Heart is a non profit organization hosting plenty of free dental care events across the country every year. Just check out their main website to see if there is any such events scheduled in the nearby. These free dental events are generally held on a first come first served basis, and they are intended to help low income and uninsured patients.

Generally, at these free dental care events they offer preventive and basic dental care treatments such as cleanings, extractions, fillings and mouth checkups. However, at times they offer even major dental work such as restorative dental care (dentures or bridges).

If you cannot afford dental care, do not give up, because as you can note there are plenty of options available you just need to pick the one that suits best your needs. You should never allow a small dental problem turn into a huge dental problem, because then the costs are going to be overwhelming and you will unfortunately have to put up with a lot of pain and discomfort.

  • Naveen Samuel

    As a dentist, I know that there are dental school research projects that are conducted by students and professors that will include providing free crowns or dental implants to participants. You should beware of products that may not be FDA approved. Also, dental school can give you up to a 30% discount off private dentist fees, but there is usually a long waiting list, as well as long appointment times (up to 4 hours). You may save a few bucks, but taking a whole day off from your job will cost you more money than you saved. I would still recommend finding a discounted dental plan that will help you save 35% to 60% OFF regular dentist fees. There will be no waiting periods like regular dental insurance. Only costs $12 per month, and even cosmetic and implant dentistry is covered. Go to for more details. Then go to to find a local dentist that is right for you. – Dr. Samuel, DDS