Whether you are between jobs, self-employed or simply don't have dental coverage with your current employer, you still need to have your teeth taken care of, particularly when you have a problem. Don't let the lack of insurance affect your health or well being; know the signs of serious dental issues and be creative about how you pay for care.
When You Really Need An Appointment
From heart disease and diabetes to kidney disease and even cancer, your mouth can tell a dentist a lot about your overall health. Any time you notice something unusual that doesn't go away after a few days, consider yourself in need of an appointment.
It's also important to realize that symptoms of gum disease and tooth decay usually present themselves early on in the process of development, giving you time to address the issue(s) before they get too far out of hand. If you experience any of the following, realize that the health implications should out weight the financial setback:
- Sensitivity to cold and pain: This could indicate a cavity is forming.
- Gum inflammation: You may have a treatable gum disease requiring immediate intervention.
- Discoloration: White areas of teeth are often tell-tale signs of decay.
- A dry and uncomfortable mouth: If there's no obvious reason for it, like medication, disease may be present.
- Bad breath: Gingivitis may be causing the foul odor, but you can also lose your teeth over it.
- Pain: When a tooth hurts, there's usually a reason for it. After a few days, you need to be seen.
The United States government estimates that there are approximately 108 million Americans going around with no dental insurance. You are not alone in feeling awkward about approaching a dentist or in feeling overwhelmed by the possibility of being slammed with a bill that might sink your budget. However, you still need to be helped.
Creative Ways To Cover The Costs
One of the most intimidating aspects of a visit to your dentist (or a veterinarian or automobile mechanic) is not knowing how much the bill is going to be by the time you walk away. When insurance isn't covering you, the prospects are scary.
A little research can go a long way in relieving your apprehension, though. Call local dentists at places like Montillo Dental Associates Braintree and get a general idea of costs. Knowledge is power and this information will help pave the way to your appointment. You will need a checkup, and the circumstances of your dental dismay likely warrant other procedures and services. While you have the office on the phone:
- Ask about all payment options, telling them you are currently without insurance.
- See if the office works with dental plans, where annual fees keep you covered, not a policy.
- Inquire about local pro bono work or free mobile clinics.
- Find out if there are local dental schools where you could obtain services for drastically reduced fees.
Once you know what you're dealing with in terms of cost, you can approach the situation differently. While the process of uncovering your options may be frustrating, you need to put that care within reach somehow. Your first priority must be your health, so paying a visit to the emergency room should not be ruled out, in the event that you simply can't find the answers you need.
There are a lot worse things than can happen to a person than not having dental insurance. If you have an oral health issue, find a way to be seen. Waiting too long may lead to far more serious issues and at that point, you're going to wish you had taken care of the issue.