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How to Handle a Dental Emergency When You’re Flat Broke


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Dental emergencies come in all shapes and sizes. You could slip on some ice this winter and snap your front tooth. You could crack a molar on an especially hard nut in the Christmas cake. Or a cavity can get infected and cause an agonizing abscess. 

Emergencies like these require immediate attention, regardless of your financial situation. You need to see a dentist whether you’ve run out of your dental fund or already exceeded your insurance’s annual max. 

You might feel stressed now, but don’t worry — this list is here to help. Here are some ways you can cover a dental emergency.  

1. Ask for a Financing Plan

Some dentists offer an in-house financing plan for patients who are suffering from financial hardship. These plans vary from dental clinic to dental clinic, so you’ll have to ask your dentist about their specific policy. 

Some may defer your due date to a more convenient time when you know you’ll have the money. Others will let you pay your bill with multiple, smaller payments. With the latter, you may be charged interest and finance charges for this plan, just like a personal loan. 

2. Borrow Money

If you’re just short of what you need to cover your bill, a small personal loan or line of credit could be a convenient way to get urgent dental care. They’re designed with these one-time emergencies in mind, as a backup to your usual savings and insurance. 

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A line of credit works a lot like a credit card. If approved, you can charge your dental bill to this account when you need cash now and pay it off online. While you have the option of a minimum payment, it’s best to pay off as much as you can as soon as possible. 

With a personal loan, you’ll receive your funds upfront to use in the dental office. You’ll repay what you owe over multiple fixed payments according to a strict schedule. 

3. Find an Affordable Dentist

Not all dentists charge the same price for the same procedures and treatments. You may find discounted or sliding scale pricing by getting care from the following options:

  • Clinical trials and research organizations
  • Community health centers
  • Dental colleges
  • Low-cost clinics
  • United Way 
  • Your local health department

What Constitutes as a Dental Emergency?

While financing plans, online loans, and low-cost care are available, you might still be hesitant to use any of these services. How do you know if your dental issue is a genuine emergency? Wouldn’t it be easier to hit pause on any dental procedure until you can afford it?

Some problems can’t be ignored. Here are some issues your dentist should look at right away:

  • Unexplainable swelling around your mouth, jaws, or cheeks
  • A sore or growth that doesn’t go away
  • Unbearable pain 
  • The full or partial loss of a tooth
  • Chronic bleeding from your tongue or gums

Untreated, these issues can get worse. You could require a bigger fix (and a bigger bill) if you leave them too long. Your overall health could even suffer if an abscess or tooth decay causes an infection.

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Bottom Line: Take Your Dental Health Seriously

Don’t let cost keep you from seeing a dentist in an emergency. These tips can help you get the urgent care you need.

Bellie Brown
Bellie Brown
Hi my lovely readers, I am Bellie brown editor and writer of I write blogs on various niches such as business, technology, lifestyle., health, entertainment, etc as well as manage the daily reports of the website. I am very addicted to my work which makes me keen on reading and writing on the very latest and trending topics. One can check my more writings by visiting

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