Dental Care

Affordable dental treatment

More affordable dental treatment tips and ideas

In a previous article on affordable dental care, we gave you a few ideas on how to find inexpensive dental treatment and discounted dental plans.  In that article we focused on how you can obtain dental treatment at a reduced price by going to a dental clinic operated by an accredited dental school.  Money is tight for many people nowadays, so we'd like to give you a few more suggestions on how you can find discounted dental plans. 

We briefly touched on this subject in our previous article, but participation in research studies being conducted by a dental school can be very worthwhile and is worth some additional mention here.  If you qualify for an appropriate study, it's possible to obtain dental care involving some pretty advanced treatment options and expensive procedures for a significantly reduced price.  In addition to typically substantial discounts, it's sometimes possible to receive completely free dental treatment by participating in these research projects.  We're not talking about simple and inexpensive procedures like teeth cleaning, either.  Instead, the possibilities include expensive and sophisticated procedures such as implants, crowns, fixed bridgework and even cosmetic dental procedures like dental bonding, teeth whitening, veneers, inlays and onlays.

Some government agencies and private organizations grant research money to dental schools or other dentistry researchers to fund studies regarding a specific dental procedure (such as implants or bonding) or a specific group of people (such as senior citizens or children).  You can ask a dental school's clinic manager or facilitator to refer you to the appropriate person so you can inquire about your eligibility to participate in one of these types of dental research projects.  It might be possible to receive free or affordable dental treatment by participating in one of these types of studies if one is pertinent to the type of dental treatment you need and you meet the eligibility requirements.

You might also be able to receive basic or state-of-the-art, but affordable dental treatment by participating as a patient in dental student board examinations.  All practicing dentists must graduate from a dental school accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation.  All practicing dentists must also be licensed to practice, which requires not only graduation from an accredited school of dentistry but also passing rigorous written and practical examinations.  The practical exams that are part of the licensure procedure are where you might come in, because qualified patients are able to obtain significantly discounted treatment by student dentists who are seeking their license to practice.

You should be able to learn how you can get affordable dental treatment and participate as a patient in one of these practical examinations by speaking to the dental school's clinic manager or facilitator.  Some dental schools conduct these practical exams, which are sometimes called the National Board Examinations, several times each year.

Depending upon the type of practical examination you qualify for, at least some of your dental work might be free.  For example, you might receive a free prophylactic teeth cleaning if the student's ability to perform that procedure is being tested or if the cleaning is performed in preparation for another dental procedure that is being tested.  In other words, the practical examination might actually consist of the student filling a decayed tooth.  As part of and in exchange for your participation, you might be given a free teeth cleaning before the dental filling is performed.  In addition to affordable dental treatment, you might even be offered some monetary compensation for your participation. 

Being paid?

Affordable dental treatment can't get much better than free or substantially reduced-price dental treatment.  The only thing that tops it is actually being paid for receiving dental care, and that is a possibility when you participate in dental school research projects or board licensing examinations.

You could also look into whether your local dental school conducts any community service programs in your area.  These programs are typically open to the general public, and might include a free or reduced-price examination or oral cancer screening.  Sometimes they even distribute free coupons for dental procedures to program participants.  Coupons for free dental x-rays, comprehensive examinations, dentures, dental sealants and/or mouth guards are not uncommon.

We hope these suggestions can help you find affordable dental treatment.  Don't let the dental care you need go by the wayside even if money is tight right now.  Instead, save 50% or more by using our suggestions. 

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