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Help me find free/cheap dental care in NYC
July 13, 2007 3:01 AM   Subscribe

I'm having an issue with my tooth. The root canal I had on my broken tooth in 2005 was supposed to get crowned eventually, but that was $800 that I didn't have. Anyway, the filling that was put in was temporary, and it's been wearing down over the last 2 years...

Last night, I ate, and in the process of fishing food out of the crater, I started feeling some gauzy stuff in my tooth, which was placed in there right under the filling material. Uh oh. My insurance (Medicaid with HMO) doesn't cover dental crowns or care except check-ups and emergencies (which they often solve with a cheap extraction) for anyone over 21.

Are there any places in NYC that could give me a crown or at least a new temporary filling for free or at extremely low cost? Programs for the poor, under insured, sliding scale, charities, etc? I'm currently unemployed and the procedure, at cost, would be more money than I currently have in total at the moment. Since my financial outlook is iffy for the time being, I can't commit to any payment plans. I cannot put this on credit right now for similar reasons.

Firsthand recommendations are especially appreciated, but I'll take any suggestions. Any borough except Staten Island works well enough for me, though Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Queens preferred.

I'm over 21, so my Medicaid isn't an option. City dental clinics also apparently only treat those under 21.

I'm going to put some Dentemp type stuff in there later today, but I'd like to get this resolved on a more permanent basis, as sometimes it hurts slightly of late.
posted by cmgonzalez to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
 
Uncrowned endodontically treated teeth will wear down and crumble over time. Ask me how I know.

NYU has a Dental School and may be able to help you out with low cost care.

Good luck!
posted by zach braff's mixtape at 4:18 AM on July 13, 2007


ditto columbia's school of dentistry.
posted by thinkingwoman at 5:37 AM on July 13, 2007


I had a near-identical problem and NYU dental school helped me - they gave me a good price and put me on a reasonable payment plan.

My advice: go ASAP. I waited and suffered immensely.

Sometimes, if you have a paradigmatic situation, the chief dentist will operate on you as part of a class - yours doesnt sound so serious though so this is causing for waiting a bit more ;) I kid! Good luck...
posted by mateuslee at 8:12 AM on July 13, 2007


I had this issue but I was able to drive to Mexico and had a new crown made and installed for $125.00. I know the chances of you getting to Mexico now are slim but if you ever happen to need dental work and can plan it, it's way cheap and they did a great job.
posted by yodelingisfun at 12:03 PM on July 13, 2007


Oh man. I have a $3000 bridge over the tooth I neglected in that exact same way. I hope that doesn't happen to you. I really hope not.
posted by pyjammy at 12:45 PM on July 13, 2007


If, for whatever reason, you can't go or aren't able to work something out, then doing something is better than nothing.. so get some temporary filling material and fill it yourself. It will only last a week or two (if you're lucky) but it might prevent some major trouble.

I can't advise as to brands in the US, but temporary tooth filling kits are common here in Europe. They come with some putty like stuff that's sterile and non-irritating.
posted by wackybrit at 1:47 PM on July 13, 2007


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