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If you face a dental problem, your dentist should be contacted as soon as possible, which should not be ignored. Prolonging the inevitable will only make the problems with your teeth or gums worse. What happens if you have a severe issue which qualifies as a dental emergency?
Practical Payment Options
You do not want to be facing a long term issue due to lack of dental care. The first step in avoiding urgent or emergency treatment is to maintain healthy teeth and gums in addition to your regular checkups.
There may be concerns that appear to be significant at first glance, but it's crucial to contact the dentist’s office like Sunrise Dental Studio and allow them to apply their expert judgment. Your dentist may be able to help you figure out a payment plan in the long run if you do not have insurance.
If you don't have dental insurance, here are five options for funding dental emergencies:
1. Dental Savings Plan
A dental savings plan is not dental insurance, but can come in handy in emergency situations.
Once you sign up for the plan, you gain access to a pool of participating dentists in your area. Plan members pay an annual fee that typically falls in the $100 to $200 range, and you can receive services typically within a few days of signing up.
Each participating dentist offers their services at discounted rates that range from 10% to 60%. The rates are determined by a fee schedule that details the cost associated with a specific procedure.
2. Dental Payment Plans
Financing is another option if you don’t have the immediate funds to pay for a dental emergency. Some dentists offer financing plans to their uninsured patients who might need expensive procedures. The plans tend to be no-fee financing, which simply means that you don’t pay interest.
Dental payment plans allow patients to afford cosmetic procedures or those stemming from a pre-existing condition.
3. Government Assistance
Government resources such as Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) may be available to those who qualify.
Medicare dental coverage doesn’t typically cover dental procedures, so it's wise to shop around for Medicare Advantage and supplemental plans.
Medicaid provides medical benefits, including some dental benefits, to those who qualify. People age 21 and over are eligible for emergency dental services only, while those under age 21 qualify for more extensive dental coverage.
The CHIP program offers medical coverage and some dental services to children up to age 19 who don’t have insurance. The specific dental services offered vary per state.
4. Emergency Room Visits
Visiting a hospital emergency room is a temporary option for an extreme dental emergency. The ER doctors probably won’t be able to fix the dental issue, but they'll be able to treat secondary symptoms like pain or bleeding.
This option will only hold you over until you can see an emergency dentist. The cost for treating those medical issues should be picked up by your health insurance though.
5. Options For Lesser Emergencies
If your dental emergency doesn’t require immediate attention, you can try options like seeking out local dental schools, dental charities, and free dental clinics. These options may provide some dental services at a low cost or for free in some cases.