Category Archives: Affordable Dentistry

Is it possible for a cavity to heal or go away?

It’s been months now that I have had a cavity. I think it is pretty deep in the tooth and the tooth is partially chipped. I don’t have dental insurance, so I have been putting it off for far too long. It used to ache and hurt when I first noticed it. But now it doesn’t hurt anymore. Did it go away? I do everything I can to keep it as clean as possible. I’ve even been rinsing with mouthwash daily. Did this heal it? If not, in my research, I saw that the the tooth will fall out eventually. Do you know how long that will take to happen? It’s one on my back molar teeth. Is there anything I need to do in the meantime, until it falls out?

-Jake in Ohio


Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, a cavity does not heal on its own. You mentioned that you didn’t have dental insurance, which has kept you away from the dentist. This is also unfortunate, because this could have been taken care of quite easily and economically early on.

It would still be in your best interest to see a dentist to see if the tooth is salvageable. Since you no longer have any discomfort, the cavity may have reached the inside pulp of the tooth. If that is the case, you may be dealing with a possible tooth infection. This can be quite serious if it is just left alone. The infection can spread to other parts of your body and cause serious complications. But the good news is, the root canal treatment may be able to save the tooth.

Waiting for it to fall out really isn’t the best plan. If you are young, you may be dealing with some painful, annoying consequences for letting it go down the road. Your teeth may shift around and your chewing efficiency may be compromised. You may also have bone loss to deal with. There are many affordable dentists around that will work with you on payments or make a plan to phase out treatment over time, so it fits in your budget.

In the future, keeping up with regular checkups and exams is far more economical and better for your overall oral health, than never going in.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Need the cheapest and fastest fix to a broken tooth.

My front tooth broke off clean right at the gumline. I need it fixed fast and as cheap as possible. I am not paying for dental implants.

-Mike in Florida


Well, the cheapest and fastest way to fix a broken front tooth is called Superglue. But come on. That’s not what you want. A cheap repair will only last a day or two at most.

You didn’t ask for it to look good either. In which case, having a dentist rebuild the tooth with dental bonding would be a quick, cheap fix. But it would look terrible.

So, lets change your thinking. Sometimes the cheapest fix ends up being much more expensive and more painful in the long run. You should be considering something that looks nice, that’s durable, and long-lasting.

A dental crown is a possibility if the tooth still has the root intact. But this would mean there is a lot of stress being placed on this tooth. It isn’t out of the realm of possibilities, but may not be the best fit. A root canal treatment on the remnant of the tooth would be a good treatment, then having a post placed to add strength to the remaining tooth. A carbon fiber post or fiberglass would work better because there is some flexibility with the stress it will endure. A metal post won’t remedy the stress and may end up fracturing the root. Two posts are better than on in this case.

It sounds like you are not interested in dental implants. Although implants are more expensive, they truly are the best alternative. They are a permanent fix that looks, feels, and functions just like your natural tooth.

You need to get into the dentist to have the situation evaluated. If cost is a concern, be upfront. Discuss your options. Consider phasing treatment out over time or setting up an affordable payment plan. Cheaper isn’t always best, especially when we are talking dental care.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.


I’m looking for an affordable dentist.

I don’t want to divulge too much information. But I am a survivor of domestic violence. I suffered a lot of trauma to the face which broke off several of my teeth. I can’t get a job because my appearance isn’t normal, to say the least. Is there a way to find an affordable dentist for someone like me? If I can get my teeth fixed, I think my chances will increase to find work.

-Anonymous in Texas

Dear Anonymous,

So sorry to hear about the horrendous situation you have suffered through. It sounds like you are out of that situation and are indeed a survivor. Hopefully, getting the dental care you need will help you find a job.

Here are some tips when looking for an affordable dentist, especially as they pertain to someone that is a domestic violence survivor.

  • Have you asked at your local women’s shelter or domestic abuse center? Often times, these programs will help women transition back into the working world. There may be an agency that would help or even cover your dental work. Or they may have arrangements in place with local employers to help individuals like you.
  • You could look into seeking treatment at a dental school. It wouldn’t be free of charge, but the dental care would be much more affordable than you’d find in a general dentistry practice. Keep in mind, these students would still be in training, but there would be a licensed professional supervising and assisting as needed.
  • Many dentists offer affordable dentistry by making various payment plans available to patients with financial constraints. CareCredit is a zero percent down plan, that offers no interest for six months to a year. That may be an option until you are back on your feet.

Best of luck to you as you begin this new chapter in your life. I hope you are involved in a local support group and have support from your family to continue in your recovery. Thank you for your question.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

How can I find free dentistry?


I’m embarrassed to be in this situation. But as a recent breast cancer survivor, my mouth has taken a beating. To say that my teeth are in bad shape is an understatement. I’ve gotten to the point where tooth pain is the norm. I’m missing many teeth. Of the remaining, most are okay. But one of them has a nerve that is bothering me. Also, I had braces a long time ago and have some brackets left on a few of them.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a job and even if I did I qualify for low income care. So I’m desperate to find a free dental clinic or low-cost dental care. Any pointers you have would be very much appreciated.

-Shelby in Pennsylvania


Congratulations on overcoming breast cancer. To answer your question about free dentistry, your best bet is to research charitable dental clinics. This is a bit tricky because you may have to lower your expectations. For example, for the nerve issue, they will not likely offer a root canal treatment, their solution will be to extract the tooth. The brackets aren’t an issue because it’s relatively straightforward. And for the missing teeth, a flipper partial will likely be the option. So you can expect the lowest-cost alternative at free dental clinics.

Here are some pointers to get you started. Find a local “dental society” in your area. They may have more information on charitable or low-cost dental care. Another route you may be interested in is going to a dental school. If you are open to dental students providing care, this may be a viable option. Contacting charities in the area works well for some too. They may have established relationships with local dentists in your area that may be able to help you.

Still another strategy is to do a little research about specific practices. If the dentist mentions charitable contributions or involvement in the community, they may be open to working with you. Also, many dentists will set aside one day a year to provide free dentistry. The organization that sponsors this initiative is called Dentists with a Heart.

Good luck to you. Hopefully this will be helpful in identifying some options for your situation.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Is a County clinic my only option for affordable dentistry?

I’m self employed and have been trying to find an affordable dentist for many years. The ones I have tried have felt like a clinic. The dentist seems bothered and rushes through the appointment. I can’t seem to find dental insurance that makes sense so I have been using a discount plan for awhile now. This approach narrow my options. Is there any better way to get affordable dental care without compromising quality?

-Jake in Indiana


When you search for an affordable dentist, nine times out of ten, you will end up with a dental clinic-type practice. The reason being is that the doctors that run them make money by seeing more patients. The end result is exactly as you explained, little interaction, and more of an in and out mentality.

If you can try to change your mindset to finding the right dentist that will work with you to make your care affordable versus finding the cheapest dentist around, you could be pleasantly surprised. Find a dentist based on their credentials and quality of care, then have the discussion about budget. Often times, they may have affordable payment plans, offer discounts for uninsured patients, or work with you on payment or phasing out treatment over time.

Also, you mentioned the dental discount plan being very limiting to the care you were receiving. You may be surprised that self-employed dental benefits can be a reality. Many large, national dental insurance companies will offer great preventative plans for approximately $30/month. So when you examine the cost of paying for cleanings as you need it, compared to budgeting monthly, you’ll find that it evens out in the long run. There are also insurance options to cover restorative and more invasive dental treatments. Check around to competitive insurance companies and you can probably find a reasonable rate you can afford. It goes without saying that the more affordable premiums mean less coverage. But you may be surprised. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Looking for affordable dental care. Please help!

I don’t have dental insurance. Therefore, I avoid going because it is so expensive. What is the best way to find affordable dental care? I know beauty schools offer discounted hair cuts and services. Are dental schools similar? Will it be lower cost to have dental work done by a student? Please help!

-Sherry in Iowa


That is a great question and great idea. The answer is yes, dental schools will offer more affordable dental care if you are open to having the work done by students. Keep in mind that since they are students, the appointment may take longer. They are still learning which means they’re slow. Their work is overseen by an instructor and you will have to wait to have the work checked. This is a good option if you are looking for low-cost dentistry because it is nearly half the price of what you would pay in a private practice.

You also need to keep in mind that the standard of care may not be what you expect from a dentist. It would be sub-standard, just not the caliber you may be accustomed to.

Use google to fine an affordable dentist near you. Most dental schools will have an online application or appointment form for your to fill out. For functional issues, this could be a good solution. But if you are dealing with aesthetic concerns, you don’t want to cut corners. Cosmetic dentistry is an art and it wouldn’t be advised to get this type of treatment done by students.

Thank you for your question.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.


Looking for affordable dental care.


I need some dental work done but I don’t have dental insurance and I’m not on my mom’s insurance plan anymore. Do you know where I can find affordable dental care? I was wondering if a dental school would give you discounted services?

– Ben in Idaho


Most dental schools will provide more affordable dental care to interested individuals. You have to understand that the reason for the discounted care is that it will be students that are doing the work. This also means that they will likely be slow and then the instructors will have to double-check the technique that was used and the quality of the work. You can expect to pay about half of what you would normally pay at a general dentist’s office.

Many patients simply cannot get past how slow the appointment is. For example, if you needed a few fillings done, most dental offices would have you in and out in 45  minutes to an hour. At a dental school, you would very likely only be able to get one done at a time and having one filling done would end up taking closer to an hour and a half.

Keep in mind that the dental work you have done may not be top notch either. Since it will be checked it will be adequate, just not what you may be used to.

Hopefully that gives you some answers. This type of discounted dental care works well for certain patients.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.


I have a dental emergency, my tooth is killing me but no insurance.

I was hoping my toothache would go away. But it’s getting worse everyday. Last night it even kept me awake for most of the night. I did my best to self medicate, it you catch my drift. I can’t keep that up. I have to get this taken care of today. I don’t have insurance and am looking for someone that will take care of my dental emergency. Please help!

– Peg in South Carolina


You need to be seen by a dentist right away. If you search for an emergency dentist in your city, there is a good chance you can find one that will see you today. You may want to consider adding “affordable” to the search term if you don’t have dental insurance. There is a good chance that an emergency dentist that will take you without you being a patient of record will be willing to work with you on payment. Definitely mention it when you call in and ask about their payment options. It will require a little legwork to find an affordable dentist that will see your emergency today. But if you live in a big enough city, you have a good chance.

The tooth sounds like it’s infected. You can’t leave it untreated or the infection will spread and could become very serious quickly. The sooner you get into the dentist, the sooner and more economically your needs will be treated. A root canal may be required to save the tooth. Or if you are having serious financial problems, the cheapest treatment will be to have it extracted. That should be a last case resort, because it can lead to a bunch of other problems down the road.

An affordable dentist should have some payment options in place, like CareCredit. This third-party financing company usually has zero or very low interest rates for six months to a year and they are accepted at many dentist offices. It only takes a few minutes to be approved. Just be upfront about having no insurance and also be sure to communicate the urgency of your dental need. Call and try to get in today.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Can I super glue my crown back on the dental implant?

My crown came off of my dental implant. I can’t afford the dentist right now and think I’m going to super glue it. Is that okay until I can get back into the implant dentist?

– Pam in Indiana


You need to go into the implant dentist as soon as possible. Super glue is not a fix for something like this. Not only may it be toxic but you may end up causing dental implant failure and irreversible damage. You know how much work went into the placement of your dental implant to begin with, so don’t risk ruining it all. There is also a risk that your bite may be off if you do it yourself.

Best case scenario, the dentist should be able to reattach the porcelain crown without damaging the implant post. But the implant dentist really needs to figure out why the crown came off in the first place. It may be an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Please, please don’t super glue it!

Most dentists will work with you on payment. Just be upfront and honest and it is possible they will split your bill into payments. Or you may be interested in something like CareCredit which offers zero and low interest financing options which make dentistry affordable.

Bottom line – don’t mess around with self-fixing your dental implant. You may be causing yourself more trouble and a much more expensive fix in the long run.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.


How serious is a rotting wisdom tooth?

I’ve been told that this wisdom tooth would give me trouble as an adult. Well, I’m over 50 and I’ve made it this long. But I think it is finally decaying and seems to be rotten. It hurts terribly and the pain is starting to interfere with my work. I think the surrounding teeth are also becoming infected. The main problem is that I just don’t have a budget for regular dental care. But I don’t think I can put this off any longer because the pain isn’t going away. I even feel like I’m starting to get tender around my cheek and ear. Is that possible? How do I find an affordable dentist to help?

– Zeke in Alabama


Tooth infections are very serious. And in some cases they can be life threatening if they are not addressed in a timely manner. Queen Elizabeth I is rumored to have died from an abscessed tooth. Seek emergency dental care immediately. It sounds like the infection is spreading if you are noticing issues with your cheek. What if the infection reaches your brain?

Find a way to pay for the emergency dentist appointment. Many dentists try to make dental care affordable by offering payment plans or using financing plans. You can’t be too picky at this point. The decayed wisdom tooth will not improve without treatment. Antibiotics will not remedy the situation either. If you don’t get it treated and only take medication, the bacteria will become resistant. This is an urgent matter, one that needs to be taken care of now.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.