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Available Dental Care For Adults Without Insurance

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: January 31, 2024

Dental care can be expensive, especially without dental assistance grants and programs to help with the costs. As a result, many people need to maintain good oral hygiene. According to the State of Oral Health Equity in America survey, 77 million adults in the US had no dental coverage in 2022, and severe disparities are still present.

Consequently, oral health problems will be a prevalent issue in 2023 as a large population suffers due to a lack of access to dental care. This guide sheds light on how to get dental care for adults without insurance.

Where Can I Get Affordable Dental Care?

Dental care can be expensive if you don't have dental insurance. Fortunately, there are numerous low-cost options for adults. Many services are even free of charge. Here are a few options that may help you afford dental care.

Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP

Medicare provides health insurance coverage to people 65 and up and those with disabilities. Medicare's dental coverage is limited and does not cover dentures or most routine dental care.

Medicaid provides health insurance and sometimes dental coverage for low-income individuals and families. The Medicaid program covers preventive dental care, like X-rays and cleanings, but emergency services are restricted if you are over 21 years. 

CHIP provides health insurance for children up to the age of 19. Children who qualify for CHIP receive medical and, in most cases, dental coverage. Dental coverage may vary in different states.

Dental Schools

Dental schools may offer X-rays, low-cost cleanings, and fillings even if you are not eligible for Medicaid. As part of their training, dental hygienists and dental students perform these services under the supervision of a licensed dentist. 

These services allow you to receive professional dental care and save you money compared to a private dental clinic.

Clinical Trials

The National Institutes of Dental and Craniofacial Research often recruits volunteers to participate in clinical trials for dental and oral conditions. Study participants may receive limited but free or low-cost dental treatment. All federally funded clinical trials can be found at ClinicalTrials.gov.

State and Local Resources

By contacting your state or local health department, you can find out if you are eligible for free or reduced-cost dental care. Find out about financial assistance programs offered by your local health department. 

United Way

It offers free dental clinics in hundreds of locations worldwide, including the US. You can find out about programs in your area by contacting your local office. Mobile dental clinics are also available, making visiting the dentist much easier.

Cost Of Dental Care Without Insurance

Recent reports show a sharp increase in the cost of dental services fueled by the pandemic. Costs of dental procedures vary by location. Basic dental cleaning costs $75 to $200, whereas tooth fillings cost $90 to $250. 

White porcelain crowns cost $800 to $2,000 per tooth, while metal crowns run between $500 and $1,500. There is a range of $800 to $1,500 for a root canal on a molar. It is also expensive to get dentures. It costs $2,000 to $2,500 for a full top set in Florida and the same for a bottom set.

At-Home Dental Care 

Dentist visits aren't always affordable for most people, so the best way to ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy is to stay on top of your at-home routine.

  • Drink more water: by drinking water, you flush away harmful bacteria that cause gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss.
  • Brushing technique: brush in slow, small circles at a 45-degree angle, cover every surface of your teeth twice a day, brush for two minutes, and don't rinse immediately.
  • Maintain a clean toothbrush: wash your toothbrush after brushing. Allow the bristles to dry thoroughly by leaving them in the open air.
  • Make sure you replace your toothbrush: It is recommended to replace it every two or three months.
  • Use mouthwash: Mouthwash removes food particles and neutralizes harmful bacteria by reaching into crevices that are otherwise hard to reach.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can save your oral health even without dental insurance. We have addressed some common concerns people have about affordable dental treatments.

How much would it cost to fix all my teeth?

An American Dental Association Health Policy Institute survey found that the entire process can cost between $60,000 and $90,000.

How can I afford to fix my teeth?

You can get a dental insurance plan, check if your treatment qualifies with Medicaid or Medicare Advantage, find low-cost dental care from your local health department, finance with CareCredit, find a dental school, or participate in clinical trials.

Can dentists give away teeth?

Patients can request the return of extracted teeth if they wish. Having a tooth removed and returned to a patient poses no risk to dental health.

Where can I find affordable dental care?

Several resources are available to obtain dental care, including medical insurance programs, local health departments, dental schools, state and local programs and clinical trials.

What happens to an untreated tooth?

Occasionally, untreated tooth infections can cause bacterial poisoning in the bloodstream. This untreated infection can lead to sepsis, a life-threatening whole-body infection.

Find Dental Care Without Insurance

Dental insurance can cover some of your dental care costs, but if you don't have coverage, you can still get discounted or even free dental care for adults without insurance. You can also use HSA for dental expenses. Either way, you must visit your dentist and get your teeth cleaned regularly. 

Want more articles that give information about free dental care? Visit our blog post about how to apply for pro bono dental care today!

Dental financing is still an option if your credit history is poor. Explore our Gov Relations resource for the best options available regarding no-credit-check dental financing

Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.
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