Help me help my bad tooth?
November 2, 2006 11:25 PM   Subscribe

I'm in NYC, don't have much money, and need to see a dentist. What are my options?

Had a root canal about six years ago on a back tooth, the nerves are completely dead so I didn't worry too much when the filling fell out at some point last year. It's beginning to hurt now though (I think maybe my gums are growing through?) and so I'd like to see a dentist and get it taken care of, have the tooth extracted if that would be easiest, but I'm kind of broke right now. Are there free/affordable dentists I can see other than the ones listed here? I would go to Lutheran except I don't have proof of income, NYU used to have a special deal for alumni but it doesn't seem to be on the site anymore and again, I'm pretty broke right now. Alternately, if anyone knows a dentist I could barter with for web/print design or computer work, I'd be much obliged!
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you need to get work done for free, don't dental schools still offer supervised student work for no cost?
posted by mathowie at 12:58 AM on November 3, 2006

You may want to try the NYU dental clinic/school again. I went there when I was poor, and got good care for cheap (and I'm not an alum). Caveats: The x-rays are located in the basement in old horse stables (I kid you not), and the dental students, many of them from Eastern Europe, are procedure-happy. They'll want to fill every hole in your mouth, whether it needs it or not. This may be good or bad, depending on your situation.

Then again: The best dentist in NY is Tim Wong. He teaches at NYU, he's a way cool dude, and he may cut you a deal. He treated me and all my artist friends (I was still poor, but NYU scared the pants off me, so I found some $ under the couch), and my sister still goes to see him. Tell him you're an NYU alum, and how much you can pay/what you can barter. His office is down near the Strand bookstore.
posted by turducken at 2:20 AM on November 3, 2006

I have a friend who has horror stories about the Dental School clinics, and in the end the he found out they weren't much cheaper then a lot of dentists in the outerboroughs.
posted by JPD at 3:44 AM on November 3, 2006

Seconding the recommendation to look in the outer boroughs. Staten Island and the Bronx especially. Much lower real estate costs = much lower patient costs.
posted by allterrainbrain at 4:20 AM on November 3, 2006

Seconding the fact that the dental school isn't much of a deal here. I went to a Polish dentist in Greenpoint, which was pretty darn cheap. You can ask before the procedure how much it will be and they'll be honest with you..
posted by hermitosis at 5:22 AM on November 3, 2006

I too have heard horror stories about the NYU clinic.

OK, I can't believe I'm making this recommendation since it is a source of much teasing between my boyfriend and me. I go to a stupidly expensive dentist. He goes to, I kid you not, Praise the Lord dentistry in Morningside Heights. I have scoffed at this for two years, but he has had extensive work at a fraction of what I pay for similiar work, with no problems. Praise the Lord -- all are welcome, they are in the phonebook.
posted by thinkpiece at 6:19 AM on November 3, 2006

Do you have a Chinese friend? Get them to knock on some doors with you around East Broadway in Chinatown.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:30 AM on November 3, 2006

Don't go to student dentists. If I told you my experience at Columbia Medical School it would cause your hair to stand on end like the quills on the fretful porpentine. Also, don't go to foreign-trained, or Eastern European dentists (that is not a xenophobic sentiment, but is based on knowledge of dental standards overseas). Find a good, mid-priced American-trained dentist in the suburbs: not too cheap, not to expensive.
posted by Faze at 7:13 AM on November 3, 2006

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