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Dental work without insurance?

I have no dental insurance. I'm on a very limited income since my husband became disabled and I went back to school. It's been about 4 years since my last check up. I know I need a cleaning, and I think I have a couple of cavities. I'm just terrified of the bill that will come if I go get it done. I've done my best to keep my teeth clean and healthy without going to the dentist because I just can't afford insurance on my own.

Has anyone else had this issue? What did you end up paying in the end? I'm looking at two to four cavities, most likely.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 12:17 PM on Feb. 11, 2010 in Health

Answers (4)
  • call ahead and ask, just tell them I dont have insurance, I need to know how much it will cost before hand, and they dont have a problem with giving you an estimate. some may even extend credit.

    Answer by Christina2135 at 12:23 PM on Feb. 11, 2010

  • Call some dentists and get estimates. Pick the one that sounds the most reasonable. Or go to a dental school, they do cleanings and exams for less as part of their education.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:00 PM on Feb. 11, 2010

  • I've been a dental hygienist for 22 years - you are not going to get an estimate over the telephone - as a matter of fact it is illegal in most states for the receptionist to give estimates without a record of an exam by the dentist. Most receptionist in the dental office have no idea what goes on in the back of the office. At most the receptionist will only be able to tell you how much the exam will be.
    I agree with looking for a dental school in your area but be prepared for a long waiting list. In some places the health dept will see you but in other places they won't but it's worth calling. The same goes for community health centers - most do sliding fee schedules.
    The cost of a filling is determined by how many sides of the tooth is involved - more sides more expensive. The longer you wait to have your teeth cleaned the more likely you will need periodontal work which is more expensive.

    Answer by PrttyMstng at 6:57 PM on Feb. 12, 2010

  • As far as dental insurance is concerned there really isn't many true insurances - most are just discount plans. I try to explain to people that when they tell you that you get free services it not true. Your premiums usually add up to more than what it would cost without insurance.
    I formed a new Dental Questions group here on cafemom. Check it out and I can answer more of your dental questions there.

    Answer by PrttyMstng at 7:01 PM on Feb. 12, 2010

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