Dentist Without Insurance? How to Get Cheap Dental Care Easily

Going to the dentist without insurance can be very expensive. So expensive that 48% of insured Americans skip the dentist due to the cost. And for the uninsured, this figure rises to 65%. But, getting cheap dental care isn’t impossible. You just need to know where to look.

The Problems with Dental Insurance

74 million people in the United States (around 23% of the population) don’t have dental insurance coverage. Sadly, employers don’t always offer dental insurance as a benefit. And even if they do or you purchase your own insurance, it often doesn’t cover what you need.

Common problems with dental insurance:

  • Waiting period: When you apply for insurance, you can’t walk into a dentist’s office immediately. Instead, you need to wait a set period of time (usually 3 months) until your benefits kick in. Even then, it won’t always cover every procedure.
  • Insurance minimum: Your procedure needs to hit a minimum amount of cost for the policy to cover it. While this usually isn’t a lot, you should still be aware of what your policy doesn’t include.
  • Insurance cap: Insurance won’t pay for procedures in excess of a certain amount. This cap can limit what your dentist can do. And if you need an expensive procedure, you may have to pay for it out of your own pocket.

All-in-all, dental insurance is great if you have it for smaller procedures and preventive dental visits. It’ll cover checkups and regular dental cleans (both are crucial).

However, if you need dentures, root canals, or braces, a lot of insurance providers won’t cover those expensive procedures.

The Cost of Going to the Dentist Without Insurance

Going to the dentist without insurance can cost a lot. Dental bills pile up quickly. Believe it or not, it can cost several thousand dollars every year. 

Examples of prices for common procedures at dentists without insurance:

  • Oral exam: $73
  • Complete X-ray: $168
  • Cleaning: $127
  • Filling: $204.00
  • Tooth extraction: $229
  • Root Canal: $880
  • Crown: $1,312
  • Lower denture: $1,441
  • Upper denture: $1,441

Keep in mind: these are only guide prices. Every dentist is responsible for setting prices and costs for dental procedures. And the cost of procedure can vary from practice to practice, state to state. 

Risks of Not Going to the Dentist Because of Money

Thanks to these high dental procedure costs, one in five people don’t go to the dentist. Forget about regular checkups. A lot of people don’t even go if they’re in pain. Sadly, skipping the dentist can come with very serious consequences.

  • Pain:Nobody wants to live in pain. Yet, a simple infection can cause a significant toothache. If you don’t go to the dentist when you feel pain, it’s only going to get worse.
  • Losing teeth: Cavities, gum disease, and tooth injuries can all cause damage to your teeth. If left untreated, these problems will eventually lead to a state that you can’t improve. 
  • Daily discomfort: Damaged teeth are often sensitive. Tooth sensitivity can make eating, drinking, and talking painful. Limiting these activities can lead to other health problems.
  • Stained teeth: Without regular dental cleanings your teeth will stain, especially if you drink coffee and wine regularly. While stained teeth aren’t a health issue, a lot of people don’t like how they look.
  • Life-threatening illnesses: Untreated infection and gum disease don’t just make your teeth fall out. The disease can spread to your lymph nodes, heart, and brain. You can also get heart disease and strokes which can be fatal.

5 Cheap Alternatives to Go to the Dentist Without Insurance

So, skipping the dentist isn’t an option. Yet, paying for a dentist without insurance seems impossible too. That can leave you wondering, “Is there a way to get the dental procedure you need without breaking the bank?”

Turns out, there’s more than one. You have 5 options to see a dentist without insurance.

1. Go to a Free Dental Clinic

Find out if your local community has low-cost or free dental clinics. They’re often run by volunteers from local dental practices. 

America’s Dentists Care Foundation or Dentistry from the Heart both host dental care events. Hundreds of dentists and assistants volunteer for 2-3 day long events, helping thousands of people each year get the dental care they need.

2. Try a Dental School

You can get access to cheap dental care by visiting a dental school for treatments. Dental students need practice and work under the supervision of instructors to provide affordable and safe dental care.

Many schools offer huge discounts on a variety of procedures. Just be sure to check that the dental school is accredited with the ADA.

3. Just Do Yearly Dental Cleanings

While officially, dentists recommend that you get two dental cleanings a year, once a year is enough. Studies have shown that for most patients, one visit per year is enough to ensure oral health maintenance.

Unless you’re at a high risk for gum disease or other dental issues, you can save a little money and time with an annual visit to the dentist. Plus, these visits are perfect opportunities for your dentist to notice serious issues early on.

4. Focus on Preventing Dental Problems

There’s no better way to save on dental care than to prevent dental problems before they happen. And the best way to do that is to commit to a regular dental hygiene routine.

Brush your teeth twice a day, 30 minutes after eating. Floss, scrape your tongue, and use mouthwash to truly keep your mouth clean.

There are other lifestyle choices you can make to prevent serious dental issues. Avoiding sugar, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, and drinking plenty of water helps keep you and your teeth healthy. 

Speaking of things to avoid, you want to try your hardest to avoid these 12 common bad teeth habits that can easily damage your teeth.

5. Get a Dental Discount Card

Despite trying preventive measures and limiting your dental cleanings, dental problems may still happen. Injuries, cavities, and gum disease all require a dentist to examine them. 

Luckily, if you have a dental discount card, you can get the dental procedure you need at a lower price. You can see a professional dentist without insurance for cheaper.

Cheaper Dental Procedures Without Insurance

While going to the dentist without insurance can be expensive, there’s one thing that can make the same procedure cheaper: a dental discount card.

And Carefree Dental offers the best deal in dental!

From 15.95/month for individuals and $19.95/month for families, this dental discount plan saves you 15%-50%* off your bill per visit in most instances at participating dentists.

There’s no minimum, no waiting, and no limit on how often you can use it!. As soon as you activate your card, you can get a discount at participating providers. 

Get the dental treatment you need at a lower cost (even without insurance) bysigning up for Carefree Dental.


The Carefree Dental blog is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The text and pictures within the content are intended for information purposes only. Readers should consult with a licensed dentist or healthcare professional before seeking treatment.

The Carefree Dental Card is not insurance and Carefree Dental is not an insurance provider.

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