A quote says – life is short, smile while you still have teeth. The statement itself is entertaining, but it does hold value. Life is short, so you have to take good care of everything you have now – but this also includes your teeth. Dental care is becoming an increasingly important aspect of healthcare not just because of the aesthetic value of teeth, but also because of health implications.
In fact, numbers from the National Health Service state that 2017 numbers for oral health in England are actually “dire.” This is because more than 170 teenagers and children actually have teeth extractions due to teeth decay, and 40-percent of children haven’t visited dentists for over a year even though NHS check-ups for everyone under 18-years-old is free. If you’re in need of professional advice for a specific situation, perhaps professionals such as Dr. Keri Tran might be of assistance.
If you want to take better care of your teeth but couldn’t afford the expensive dentists, it shouldn’t mean you should give up. Below are key tips on how to find affordable dental care:
- Go to a Dental School Clinic: If your community has a dental school nearby, they may have a community dental clinic with low cost. This is because these clinics are likely being used by dental students to acquire the experience they need before they can take their licensure exams. They also work on a sliding scale rate, meaning they’ll adjust depending on how much money you can provide. They are likely to be affordable, however, though at the trade-off of likely staying there for longer as dental students have to be assisted by professional dentists.
- Try your Community Dental Clinic: It’s likely that your state has no-cost or low-cost dental clinics. If you’re reading this from a rural zone, then you’re likely going to need to travel a bit. Though these community clinics are normally located in dental schools and other parts of the city. Some dentists in these locations offer sliding scale rates, meaning they’ll adjust costs depending on your income. You can check on the location of community dental clinics with larger hospitals or your local public hospital.
- Go to Dental Care Accessibility Organizations: Some dental care-oriented organizations can actually help provide you with affordable care, especially if you live near one of their locations. In the United States, the Health Resources and Services Administration has a comprehensive list of uninsured citizens that need dental care, and organizations such as Dentistry From The Heart, United Way, and Mission of Mercy provide medical care such as dental care for those who need it.
- Volunteer for Medical Studies: Some researchers from organizations such as the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research are in need of volunteers with specific craniofacial, oral, and dental conditions to be a part of their studies. These clinical trials may help provide you with low-cost or even free dental treatment for the condition they’re looking into.
- Go to the Emergency Room, even as a last resort: If you find yourself with an oral infection or significant pain, try to proceed to the ER as you’re likely not the only person there. In fact, studies show that someone goes to the ER because of toothaches every 15 seconds. It’s likely you’ll get pain medication and get your infection addressed in the ER. It’s unlikely they’ll have dental expertise, but at least you can get your symptoms alleviated for you to get the time to go to a dentist especially as a last resort.
If you’re looking for affordable dental care, you’re likely going to find it by being a bit creative with the resources you have. Dental care in itself is becoming more expensive everyday, but governments and economies are pushing to make it more accessible to others as per its value on overall healthcare. Taking advantage of your perks, actually searching for them more actively, and being a proactive member of the health community will likely help bring to light more affordable healthcare systems.