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Where To Find Dental Care for Adults Without Insurance?

Dental care can be expensive, especially without dental coverage. Learn where to get inexpensive care even if you don’t have insurance.

Last updated on

July 19, 2023

Katharine Hall

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Where To Find Dental Care for Adults Without Insurance?

Dental care and healthcare go hand in hand. With that said, health insurance and dental insurance are two completely different policies from one another. Since over 33% of adults in the United States do not have a dental plan that provides coverage for routine checkups, this means that there are millions of people without access to the affordable dental care they need.

You don’t need to let price be a barrier between you and care. If you’re an adult without insurance, there are plenty of low-cost ways to find dental care.

Here is everything you need to know:

1. Flossy

Even if you do have insurance, it can cost you a pretty penny to get the dental procedures you need to maintain your dental health. This is because you still need to pay monthly fees and annual premiums, even if you don’t actually receive any dentistry care. There can also be coverage gaps where dental procedures are not covered. Over time, this can add up and be costly.

At Flossy, we think you should only need to pay for the dental care services you receive. We’re a pay-as-you-go, low-cost dental care service made for uninsured patients who are looking to maintain their dental hygiene, or as a supplemental discount for procedures not covered by insurance.. There are no monthly fees or annual premiums, meaning that the transparent pricing you see is the price you pay.

And that price is drastically lower than the out-of-pocket costs elsewhere. In fact, we can save you up to 50% on common dental treatments, from routine teeth cleaning to root canals, fillings, and dentures.

Our providers are high quality, having gone through a rigorous vetting process in order to be a part of our network. All of our providers have degrees from accredited dental programs, excellent patient reviews, and expertise in their field.

There’s also no waiting period to start getting care, so you can sign up today and book an appointment right away at a dentist in your area. If you don’t have insurance or are worried about coverage, you can find a dentist nearby and get the care you need today.

2. Dental Schools

Your dentist had to learn how to do everything they know somewhere — and dental hygienist schools or universities are those places. Dental schools are one of the best places to get low-cost care without a dental insurance plan.

Since dental students aren’t able to collect payment for the dental services that they provide, you only pay for the materials in most cases. This means that you can get oral health care at a super low price.

And you don’t need to worry about the dental work being low quality because sessions are supervised by a dental professional. The presiding licensed dentists will ensure that your treatment is safe and effective.

3. Free Dental Clinics

For individuals with low income, there are free dental care clinics in most areas to provide dental care. These usually offer services on a sliding scale, meaning that you pay for what you are able to afford based on your income and circumstances.

Community health centers are another great place to look to see if there are options for your dental care. Health centers work to reduce barriers to care in order to ensure that you can live a happy, healthy life.

While dental clinics might only be able to offer limited services, it could still be worth seeing if you are eligible.

4. Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies done on human volunteers. This is one of the main ways that scientists learn about the effects of new procedures, dental products, and technology. It’s one of the final stages of a long research process.

Trials are often done for free, and in some cases, they are paid. This might mean that you can get free care depending on the type of trials currently ongoing. The only risk is that since it’s a trial, you don’t necessarily know how it will turn out in the end.

You also need to meet specific criteria called inclusion and exclusion criteria in order to participate in the trial. So while it can be difficult to involve yourself in one of these trials, they are one of the most effective ways to get care for little to no cost.

5. Dental Discount Plans

Discount plans are similar to insurance: These plans are an annual fee that is paid upfront to receive discounts on dental services. However, they are not monthly installments. Instead, you’ll receive a physical card that you can present at the dentist to get lower prices on services.

The biggest downside to this plan is that you need to use a dentist in your plan’s network in order to get any discounts. Typically, this is an extremely small set of providers that might not include orthodontic dental work, like tooth extraction.

6. Medicaid, Medicare, or CHIP

You may qualify for one of the federally backed insurance programs if you’re tight on cash and need dental care.

Medicare is a government-backed insurance program that benefits individuals aged 65 and older or individuals with certain disabilities. While it can offer extremely low-cost healthcare, it does not cover dental care. The exception is that Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, and if you need dental work during the stay, Medicare will cover some of the expenses.

Medicaid services differ from state to state. Under Medicaid, the state determines medical necessity, meaning that some places might not cover dental. While most allow children under 18 to get comprehensive care, only about half of the states cover comprehensive care for adults.

CHIP is a Children’s Health Insurance Program that aims to give children access to medical care if their family is lower income and doesn’t have insurance coverage for them. While states decide eligibility just like typical Medicaid, CHIP covers dental care for all children.

This is to say, look into government-backed programs to try to find relief when it comes to being able to afford dental care, as they might be able to bring you some financial relief.

7. Dental Lifeline Network

The American Dental Association hosts a Dental Lifeline Network, which offers comprehensive treatment to vulnerable populations like those with disabilities, the elderly, or the medically compromised. It offers free dental care that runs solely on volunteer dentists and donations.

The only downside to the DLN is that the waitlist is extensive, so it can be very hard to get emergency care within the time frame that you need. The lifeline network is aimed at individuals who are looking to get routine care, like cleanings or cavity fillings.

8. Talk to Your Dentist

If you’re struggling to pay for services, know that your final bill is never set in stone. You can always have a chat with your provider to see if there are any aspects of the final bill that can be eliminated from the total cost.

Additionally, they might be able to come up with a flexible payment plan to help you cover the cost of care without breaking the bank.

Bright Smiles, Bright Solutions

Dental care can run a very high price tag without insurance. Treatments like extractions or dental implants can cost thousands of dollars out of pocket. Even if you do have dental insurance, the cost of premiums and monthly fees might not even be worth it.

Dental schools are low-cost ways to get quality care, as well as community dental clinics or the Dental Lifeline Network. You can also see if you qualify for government-backed programs like Medicaid or go through clinical trials at local research facilities.

But the best way to save without insurance is Flossy, the pay-as-you-go service that can save you up to 50% on dental care. From routine cleanings to extractions, you can be confident you’re getting the best price.

Book an appointment today to find quality dental care from a licensed dentist in your area and get the services you need.


Dental coverage, access & outcomes | American Dental Association

What is a Community Health Center? |

Volunteer and Get Involved with the ADA | American Dental Association

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