How to Go to the Dentist When You Can’t Afford to Go to the Dentist


Artwork: Robin Mead

Tips and ideas from the wonderful members of Social Service Connections for Lyme Disease

🌺 “I have a lot of friends that take their vacations in Mexico and get their dental work done there (scroll down for a good Mexico dental story!)”

🌺 “Some dental schools offer dental care through their student clinics. We have a local hospital that has one.”

🌺 Some dental clinics offer free or low cost dental care.

🌺 Dental lifeline offers donated services to people who are low-income disabled, elderly or medically-fragile.

🌺 Some people buy individual dental insurance policies. (Scroll down for a good dental insurance story!)

🌺 If you have Medicare, look into supplemental insurance like Medicare Advantage. (Note: May not be worth the price in some circumstances).

🌺 If you are in a state home aide program, check with your caseworker. In some states, this program provides dental care. (note: in many states, this program allows you to have Medicaid without counting your spouse’s income).

🌺 In some states, Medicaid covers dental care. There are quite a few different ways to qualify for Medicaid even if you have been told you don’t qualify for Medicaid.

🌺 DentaQuest lists dentist that accept Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and/or CHIP. (Note: In some states, Medicaid does not pay for dental care for adults, only for children)

🌺 The Department of Health and Human Services publishes a Guide to Low Cost Dental Care.

🌺 You can also check this state-by-state list of programs that may be able to provide information about free or discounted dental care in your area.

🌺 In limited areas, there are free dentistry days.

Dee Goes to the Dentist in Mexico!

I am in Las Vegas but drive to Yuma, AZ to get dental care in Los Algodones, Mexico. My dentist in Mexico is licensed by the American Dental Association.

To find my dentist, I just googled dentists in Los Algodones, Mexico. I found a great ADA dentist who studied at Harvard. My husband needed a bridge and got estimate here of $3,500. In Mexico, we got it done in four days for $800.

There was no place to stay there. We stay in Yuma, Arizona. 15 minutes from border.  We needed to get passports. We saved money and got a vacation!

Rose Buys Dental Insurance

I buy an individual dental insurance policy from Delta Dental. It is $105/year (plus an  extra $15 the first year). The price is even cheaper if you are a couple (I think $170). You have to select a dentist from their list.

For $105/year, I get two cleanings and a set of bitewings. It covers the whole mouth x-ray every few years. It also gives a discount schedule for more major work that – knock on wood – I have not needed.

Just paying out of pocket for one cleaning would cost as much as my entire plan.

What Do You Think? 

Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working. 

Updated May 2018. If you found this page helpful, please share it with others by pressing one of these magic little buttons: 


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