Dental treatments can be costly, mainly when repairing or replacing a broken tooth. If you have dental insurance, it only covers some of the costs and frequently restricts your options for dentists. But what if you have a dental emergency but no insurance? How can you alleviate your situation and pay for the dental care you need? Keep reading to find out.
Dental emergencies require immediate attention to avoid further complications.
The costs of dental emergencies vary by severity and procedure.
Dental clinics, financing options, and personal loans are options for payment of dental emergencies.
A dental emergency involves teeth, gums, or mouth requiring immediate attention from a dental professional to alleviate pain, prevent further damage, or address a potentially serious issue. An emergency is care you can’t postpone because it will cause greater damage and pain. Some examples include:
Broken or knocked-out tooth
Abscessed teeth or infections
Lost or damaged filling or crowns
Jaw pain or injury
Gum injuries or infections
Wisdom teeth issues
Severe tooth pain
It's important to note that not all dental problems are emergencies, and some issues can be managed with routine dental appointments. Having regular dental cleanings and screenings helps ward off more damaging dental issues.
Getting x-rays will detect any issues, like cavities, before they become more serious. Generally, brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing will help prevent problems with tooth decay and gum disease problems.
The treatment cost depends on the damage and how many teeth were affected. It also depends on the prices set by the dental office. Below is a list of common emergencies and their costs.
A filling is the most common dental procedure that can also be considered an emergency. A cavity causes long-term damage and can be painful.
Depending on the filling you pick, you can spend about $200 to $450 on a dental filling.
Whether you tripped, fell, or bit into something too hard, a chipped or broken tooth is an emergency. They can be very painful and lead to more damage.
For chipped or broken front teeth, dentists will recommend veneers. These wafer-thin shells are customized according to your tooth shape and color and bonded to the surface to hide imperfections. These can cost from $300 to $5,000 per tooth. If you need to get veneers for all four front teeth, the bill can reach almost $5,000.
Damage to the molars can be trickier to treat since you will need X-rays to determine whether rot has weakened the tooth structure and will impact chewing and eating. Unfortunately, just those tests and the doctor's fees will cost about $500.
An infection of your gums or teeth is painful and affects your ability to function. The infection or abscess needs immediate attention.
The cost of procedures involving infections or abscesses depends on what you need to be done. Infection drainage varies in price. The price ranges from $300 to $2,000 if you need a root canal.
You may need a tooth extraction if the decay is too severe. You may also need an extraction if you have an impacted wisdom tooth or a major case of periodontal disease.
Tooth extraction costs depend on what tooth is being extracted and how—a simple tooth extraction costs between $75 to $250. If you need surgery to remove the tooth, it can cost up to $550 per tooth. Wisdom teeth are the most expensive to extract, costing up to $800 per tooth.
Dental implants are commonly recommended for various reasons, primarily when a person is missing one or more teeth.
If the tooth has been knocked out or cannot be saved, the last recourse is to get dental implants (about $2,700 to $5,000). The cost can increase if you need extractions or bone grafts to make room for the implant.
Perform a financial check. Begin by checking how much money you have to spend on the procedure. Having a good picture of your finances will help determine your next course of action.
Ask for pricing. Then, ask your dentist to make a pre-treatment estimate. This should list the fees (including tests and follow-up checkups) and what you will pay after completing the treatment. From there, you will know how much money you need to raise for the treatment. There are a few options you can consider.
Search for alternative options. First, you can search for low-cost or free dental clinics. Many dental schools offer low-cost services to customers. It is best to see what dental emergencies they cover before going to the clinic. Also, check your state to see if charity dental clinics are available. You may have the option to get dental care for free.
Check if dental financing is available. Many dental offices offer financing through CareCredit. CareCredit is a low-cost credit card accepted at dental and medical offices. You apply and receive a specific amount on your card. Once you pay for your service, you usually have six months to pay off your dental work with no interest. The interest is added to your balance if you go past six months.
Consider a personal loan. It can assist you in covering dental costs so that you do not lose your entire salary due to your treatment. And since payments are spread out over several months, you can afford even more expensive treatments if needed. A personal loan will help you out during a dental emergency.