Dental care is important. Everyone knows that. Another well-known fact is that a great deal of people in this country do not see the dentist often enough, resulting in painful and damaging dental problems. Unfortunately, dental care can be costly, and insurance does not usually cover everything. However, there are a few options you can try to get free or low-cost dental care.

Go to a Dental School

If you are willing to let a dental student work on your teeth, you could save quite a bit of money. Dental students need to practice on real people with real dental problems, so schools will offer very low cost care to patients. If you are concerned about a student working on you instead of a licensed dentist, rest assured that the students are supervised by a dental instructor at all times.

Ask for a Discount if You Pay in Cash

If you can save up some extra money, try to pay for your treatment up front. If you do this, the dental office may give you a discount on your services.

Check into Clinical Trials

Dental schools and research laboratories will often run clinical trials from time to time. These trials will test a variety of dental conditions. The school will put out a notice for participants when they are ready to conduct a new trial. If you think you qualify, you will be asked to fill out an application. If you are selected, you could get your dental work done for free.

Go to a Community Health Center

Many communities have a community health center that offers basic health assessments for free to those who qualify. Some of these centers will offer basic dental care as well. To get treatment, you will have to fall under a certain income bracket which varies from state to state. Also, keep in mind that if you do qualify, you may have to wait for a while for an appointment to open. Many dentists do this on their free time, so it could take a while for a spot to become available.

If you have exhausted all efforts and still cannot afford your dental care, try having a heart to heart talk with your dentist. If your problems are significant and affecting your overall health, the dentist may be willing to offer you a special rate or possibly even do it in exchange for services, especially if you are a long-time patient.