How To Find Free Or Low Cost Emergency Dental Care
A dental emergency can mean many things. If your tooth has come out of your mouth, if part of your tooth has broken off, if your mouth is causing you excruciating pain, if your face is starting to swell; these are all examples that constitute a dental emergency. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you need to see a dentist right away.
But if you don't have dental insurance, you may put off seeing a dentist until you can't stand the pain any longer or you are faced with a life threatening infection. Nobody wants to be stuck with a huge bill that they can't pay, but an urgent dental condition should be considered just as important as any other medical emergency. Fortunately, there are some options for low income dental patients. Here is a list of resources that may be available in your area.
With the passage of the Affordable Care Act by the Obama administration, many states expanded their medicaid plans to include dental. Many more people are also eligible. Check the income qualifications for your state. You may qualify for free dental care.
If there is a dental school in your area, they are always looking for patients for the students to practice on. All of the procedures are supervised by experienced teachers who can step in and take over if necessary. Many of these treatments are free or very low cost.
Dental clinics offer lower cost services than a traditional dentist's office. Many of these clinics also offer low-rate financing or credit for applicants with decent credit.
Free Dental Days
Free dental days happen only a few times a year, so this option is only helpful if your emergency coincides with one of these events. Dentists volunteer their time and donate their services to the community in a large space like a community center, fairground, or arena. These events are first come, first served, with people lining up the night before to be seen in the morning.
How to take care of yourself until you can be seen
Some things you can do to reduce pain and swelling and do some damage control until you get to the dentist are:
Rinse your mouth out with a solution of warm salt water
Take an anti-inflammatory over-the-counter painkiller
Apply ice packs on the outside of your mouth to the affected area
If a tooth has come out, place it in a cup of milk to keep it alive
If a crown has come off, stick it back on with denture cream
For professional dental care, contact a dentist such as Ellen Bollmeier, DMD, LLC.