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

๐ŸŒบ “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!)”

๐ŸŒบ “Some dental schools offer dental care through their student clinics. We have a local hospital that has one.”

๐ŸŒบ Some dental clinics offer free or low cost dental care.

๐ŸŒบ Dental lifeline offers donated services to people who are low-income disabled, elderly or medically-fragile.

๐ŸŒบย Some people buy individual dental insurance policies. (Scroll down for a good dental insurance story!)

๐ŸŒบ If you have Medicare, look into supplemental insurance like Medicare Advantage. (Note: May not be worth the price in some circumstances).

๐ŸŒบย 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).

๐ŸŒบ 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.

๐ŸŒบย 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)

๐ŸŒบย The Department of Health and Human Services publishes a Guide to Low Cost Dental Care.

๐ŸŒบย 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.

๐ŸŒบ 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.ย  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 anย  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?ย 

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

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


6 thoughts on “How to Go to the Dentist When You Can’t Afford to Go to the Dentist”

  1. Thanks for the tip to buy individual dentist insurance policies. My wife and I are trying to find a way for us to get to the dentist. I’ll talk to her about the things you shared and see what sounds best to her.


  2. Living on SSD a small pension and the $11K I earn annually working part time, rent, food, etc. NO money for the dentist.

    I have dental insurance and it does not pay much a $1K dental bill insurance pays $100 bucks if your lucky with dental insurance dental bills are still VERY high.

    And so a bad toothache a painful toothache I TELL the dentist to:

    “yank the tooth out extract the tooth”.

    Insurance pays for extraction..

    Dentist will NOT send me to an oral surgeon because they can do it and make some money $$$.

    From the dentist I get guff, “you need a root canal, you need a crown, etc” and I reply “NO thank you extract the tooth and NOW”

    Good thing the teeth I have had extracted are in the back no one can see the missing teeth..

    My mouth if free of pain and infection and I have enough teeth left to eat dinner, etc.

    The Caveman, the Pilgrims on the Mayflower had NO root canals, etc. we do NOT NEED costly dental work to survive,

    Dental care is too expensive for the disabled I do NOT need a credit card at 20% interest to pay off I do NOT need to send a dentist a money order each month and so its extraction “Yank the took out doctor and NOW”

    The pain is gone instantly and i do NOT need to go back to the dentist for more costly dental work clearly “Yank the tooth out” is the way to go, for me.

    Bernard FitzGerald, Jr.
    Sea Girt, New Jersey, 07850


  3. Absolutely love this website. So much accurate and helpful information. My adult son has MS and we have experienced many of the challenges you mention. We have had many battles but have also been blessed with much kindness. Wish I had found you sooner! Thank you for your commitment to those who are in need. The artwork is lovely and I have spent much time here.


  4. You have a totally awesome website. I’m looking at it to help family members and am finding so much help for myself too. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s