Help me find a dentist I can afford.
June 2, 2007 1:34 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a dentist who will work on a sliding scale / cash discount, or other options for someone who needs serious dental work and has limited funds, in Northern Virginia.

For the first time in my adult life I am making enough to start thinking about fixing my teeth. Which is not to say I am making enough to afford to fix my teeth, but the thought of paying for an exam to get the process started doesn’t make me wonder how I will cut $150 out of my grocery budget, so it’s a start. I have never had dental insurance. Even as a child, I only went to the dentist twice. (Yes, I have been to the dentist twice in my entire life). I know my teeth are bad. I know I probably need, at least, several root canals and a handful of fillings. At least. What are the options?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Is there a dental college in your area? They usually charge very low prices, and the work is supervised by a certified dentist (even though a student will be doing the actual work). I don't know about Virginia, but in my area the University of Detroi is a well-known place to get inexpensive yet professional dental work done. There is hopefully a similar college in your area.
posted by Oriole Adams at 1:46 PM on June 2, 2007

If you are truly in need you might check with the health department. If your income is too high for that (and pretty much anyone with an income finds themselves with too much money for the health department) you might look into a university near you that would allow you to get "practiced" on but the dental students. If neither of those is an option, find the $150 and get the exam. Then you'll know what you really need.
posted by bilabial at 1:59 PM on June 2, 2007

Northern Virginia Dental Society, Falls Church
posted by mdonley at 2:05 PM on June 2, 2007

I had a friend who dealt with his problems with the dental college solution, so this really can work. It meant a lot of work cost hundreds rather than thousands. Also, when I was a temp I worked reception from time to time for a community clinic that included sliding scale dentistry, so this is worth looking into - google around things like community clinic, free clinic, sliding scale etc. and your community or the nearest larger city. Even if you find something that does not include dentistry, try calling them, these places are usually used to getting a lot of queries about all manner of health care needs on severe budgets, and might know of resources for you.
posted by nanojath at 2:07 PM on June 2, 2007

Credit cards. I used them to finish up my dental work several years ago. Don't make it a habit though.
posted by corpse at 2:36 PM on June 2, 2007

For small things like cleaning, check out local community colleges that have dental hygienist programs. Cheap, but don't plan anything for the rest of the day. It might take a while.
posted by Xere at 6:42 PM on June 2, 2007

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