Could a Dental School Save You Money on Dental Treatment?

May 7th 2016

If you don't have dental insurance, the sticker shock of dental care can sometimes leave you reeling. If you lack insurance and find that you need dental implants, you must be prepared to pay bills that can add up to many thousands of dollars, which few budgets can withstand. Fortunately, there are several options for low-cost dental treatment available. One of these is visiting a dental school to get the work done. A dental school can cut the price significantly when it comes to high-end dentistry such as dental implants, and it's also a viable option for routine dental care and maintenance.

How Dental School Treatment Works

Dental students need to learn every aspect of the dental profession, which means they must perform every possible procedure. As a result, whatever work you need on your teeth, you'll find a dental student ready to learn how to perform it. The students are all closely supervised by professional dentists who are up-to-date on state-of-the-art procedures and techniques, and dental schools typically have the latest and best equipment and tools on hand.

Because dental schools are such a popular low-cost option, you may find that you have to wait for a certain procedure. Plan ahead so you can get yourself on the waiting list. Be prepared to be patient with an educational time frame that isn't designed to be completely responsive to patients' scheduling needs.

Even simple procedures, such as dental cleaning, can also take extra time, as dental school professors must come in to scrutinize every step of the dental students' work. You'll appreciate trading time for money when you see the final bill, however, as dental school procedures typically charge a mere fraction of what you'd expect to pay at your own dentist. You could end up saving thousands of dollars on high-end procedures such as implants.

Dental Services Available at Dental Schools

One of the major procedures dental schools offer is that of dental implants. Even though implants have been around for over 35 years, some insurance companies still classify them as experimental and refuse to pay for them, so even patients with dental insurance head to dental schools when they need implants.

Dental students must also learn how to fit traditional dentures, perform root canal procedures, fill cavities, crown broken teeth, clean teeth and perform dental X-rays. While you may be attracted to dental school treatment for high-end procedures, don't overlook this ultra-low-cost option for regular dental maintenance as well.

Other Options for Low-Cost Dental Treatment

If you already have a dentist you love, consider asking if she's willing to give discounts or establish payment plans for more costly and extensive procedures. If your employer offers you a flexible spending account for medical procedures, consider diverting some of it toward your dental work. Many low-income communities are home to federally supported health centers that may offer dental work.

Check the major universities in your city to see which of them have dental schools. Most states are home to at least one dental school; if you're in driving distance of a major city, you're likely to have one nearby. Check the American Dental Association's website to find a dental school near you. If you're facing a significant dental procedure, ask your dentist for an itemized treatment plan so you can spot any hidden costs lurking behind the unfamiliar medical language and consider all your options. Consider going to a dental school for excellent care at extremely discounted prices.

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