Dental Emergency But No Insurance? Here’s What to Do!


Experiencing a dental emergency can be stressful. But having to worry about how much it will cost can be even worse. Here are some tips on handling a dental emergency if you don’t have insurance to help you restore your health without hurting your wallet.

What Is a Dental Emergency and What Can You Do to Prevent Them?

A dental emergency is any type of problem with your teeth or mouth that requires immediate attention. While you can’t always prevent a dental emergency, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk.

  • Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing every day. 
  • See your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. 
  • Wear a mouthguard if you play sports.
  • Don’t use your teeth as tools, such as to open bottles or packages.

Types of Dental Emergencies

There are various types of dental emergencies, and each requires a different level of care. Here are some of the most common dental emergencies:

  • Lost filling or crown: Crowns and filing restore damaged teeth. However, if you broke yours, you need to see a dentist immediately. Not taking immediate action can lead to further damage or even an infection.
  • Constant tooth pain: Toothaches can be signals of tooth decay and gum disease, which require immediate attention. If you've noticed swelling, there's no time to wait before seeing the dentist.
  • Missing teeth: You might feel embarrassed about smiling or talking if you have missing teeth, but did you know that it can also lead to problems with your speech and eating habits? It's important to seek treatment right away so that you can avoid these complications.
  • Chipped tooth: If you have a small chip, rinse your mouth and put a cold compress on your face. See your dentist as soon as possible.
  • Bleeding gums and swelling: If you’ve recently undergone a dental procedure accompanied by intense swelling and bleeding, you need to consult an emergency dentist as soon as possible.
  • Infections: You might not be able to understand when your gum or abscess starts becoming infected. However, if you feel like it might be, it needs to be checked. They can spread throughout your teeth or gums if left untreated.

If you feel like any of these symptoms apply to your case, it’s best to consult a dentist immediately.

What Should You Do During a Dental Emergency?

If you have a dental emergency, the first thing you should do is contact your dentist. If you can't reach your dentist or it's after hours, you can go to the nearest emergency room.

Here are some tips to help you handle a dental emergency:

  1.  Rinse your mouth with a mild saline solution and apply ice to the affected area
  2.  Avoid eating, drinking, spitting, or sucking in case of bleeding and pain
  3.  Avoid crunchy and hard foods while you’re arranging to see a dentist
  4.  Apply a compress to the affected area
  5.  Take a painkiller in case of extreme pain or discomfort

How Much Do Emergency Dentist Services Cost?

An emergency dentist tends to cost higher than a regular dentist, and where you live can also impact the overall cost. Since there are fewer waiting times to see an emergency dentist and procedures are usually immediate.

Out-of-pocket expenses on dental services can be significant for you. The average dental costs per year are $514 for an individual, but they can be much higher when you don’t have a discount payment plan or dental insurance.

Root canals can cost anywhere from $700 to $1200, depending on where the tooth is. If the infection is severe, it can cost even more than that. Tooth extractions can cost up to $600 depending on why it’s being extracted and the cost of anesthesia. Crown and fillings can also be pretty expensive, costing upwards of $1400. 

How to Make Dental Bills Cheaper

Roughly 50% of Americans don’t have dental insurance. When looking to make your dental bills cheaper and reduce your out-of-pocket expenditures, you need to consider alternatives to help you save more.

While emergencies are unplanned, you can plan your dental costs to avoid financial strain. A dental discount provider is a good alternative when you need affordable plans that help you save more with every visit to the dentist.

Checking to see if the procedures are essential to your oral health beforehand is crucial to ensure you’re not paying more than you have to. Ask the dentist as many questions as possible to understand the necessity of the dental procedure.

There are four easy ways you can make your dental bills cheaper:

  • Dental discount plans: Dental discount plans offer individuals a way to save money on dental procedures such as routine exams, teeth cleanings, fillings, etc. These plans work by negotiating lower rates with dental clinics. In most cases, you’ll pay a monthly fee to join a dental discount program and receive discounts from participating dentists.
  • Student dentists: Student dentists are dentists who are still in training. They offer lower rates for dental procedures because they’re still completing their education.
  • Charity dental clinics: These clinics provide low or free-cost dental care to those who can’t afford it. Search online to find a charity dental clinic in your area.
  • Preventive care: Preventive care measures include brushing and flossing regularly, and practicing good dental hygiene to prevent problems before they occur.

Get Affordable Dental Care Without Waiting Anymore

A dental discount card is the fastest way to save money on a dental emergency. You don’t need to wait to get approved like traditional dental insurance. As soon as you become a member, you can access over 262,000 available dental practice locations nationwide.** This means that you can easily find a Carefree Dental provider near you.

You can save 15-50%* off your dental bill at participating providers with the Carefree Dental Card, per visit in most instances. For only $15.95/month for individuals and $19.95/month for families, this can mean great discounts on your dental treatments, including emergency procedures.

Sign up for Carefree Dental to get the best deal in dental!


*Actual costs and savings vary by provider, service and geographical area.

**As of April 2020.

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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