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Dr. George McKee
Dr. George McKee, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 1396
Experience:  Licensed dentist with 30 years clinical experience in general practice and cosmetic reconstruction.
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What do i do if i can't afford the dental work

Customer Question

what do i do if i can't afford the dental work
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Dr. George McKee replied 8 years ago.

Dear ,

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer.

1. Call your local dental society and see if there are any programs, charitable organizations or foundations operating in your area that will do your work for a discounted fee. You can find the details of your local dental society by clicking here:

2. Consider having your work done at a dental school. The fees charged are much less than those charged by a private dentist. The work is performed by students but supervised by professors. The quality of the work is as good if not better that a "regular" dentist. Here is a list with links of all the dental schools in the USA:

3. I have come across this website that claims to list free or discounted dental and medical clinics across the USA. They can be found at:

Make sure you read their home page to understand what qualifies as a free dental clinic to be included in their listings.

4. Outside of these options you can always look for an understanding local dentist that will help you out by working for a reduced fee. Ask your friends, family and colleagues which dentist they like and start by asking that dentist.

Regarding private dental insurance:

Some people ask me about getting dental insurance that will pay for their work and want to know which company is the best. I have disappointing news for them.

Unfortunately, most individual or family dental insurance plans these days require that you pay into the plan for a specific number of months before they will cover major treatment. This can be as long as a year sometimes. This is to prevent people from getting dental insurance, immediately having a lot of dental work done, and then dropping the insurance. Dental insurance companies, as do all insurance companies, know exactly what they are doing and are quite profitable. They are in the business of collecting more money in premiums than they pay out. They are, if you look at it this way, in the business of NOT paying claims and having all sorts of exceptions, exclusions and conditions that disallow payment. If you are part of a large group and the insurance company is collecting premiums on, say ,several hundred people each month, then the rules and restrictions for paying claims is much more liberal and you as an individual in that large group will have a policy that pays better. This is because the insurance companies know that as a rule, half of the people covered under a dental insurance plan will never go to a dentist and will essentially collect premiums for these people every month and never have to pay a claim. They then free up some of this money to pay better on those covered individuals who do go to the dentist and make a claim on their policy.

What I am getting at is that as an individual looking for an individual dental insurance policy, you won't find much, if anything, that will cover your proposed dental work immediately.

I hope this answers your question. If you would like to discuss this further or have any additional questions, please reply to my answer and I will get right back to you.

Sincerely, ***** ***** DDS