The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


5 Tips for Finding Low-Cost Dental Care as a Broke College Student


What happens when you’re a broke college student and you chip a tooth? Most likely, you’re probably wondering how much it’s going to cost you!

An emergency trip to the dentist varies greatly depending on the severity of the problem, but can quickly climb into the thousands. For college students, this is extremely nerve-racking.

Giving your teeth priority is important no matter what age and stage you are in life. Here are some low-cost dental services and ideas you can take advantage of without insurance.

5 Low-Cost Dental Services

Being in college doesn’t mean you need to succumb to gum disease or tooth pain. Here are some ways you can start taking care of your teeth without breaking your wallet.

1. Prevention

Prevention is key! Regular brushing, flossing, eating well, and staying out of too much trouble will keep your teeth in great condition. This limits your visits to the dentist’s chair and keeps money in your pocket.

It also helps to understand what is an actual emergency and what can wait until business hours. For example, a minor toothache is not as urgent as losing or knocking out a tooth or swelling gums.

2. Dental Schools

Do you know if there’s a dental school in your area? Dental schools house dental students who ‘practice’ on real patients under the care and supervision of a real dentist. This is how they gain experience before starting their jobs.

Dental schools often offer many of the same care and services as other dental offices, but for a fraction of the cost. See if there’s a dental school near you and find out what services they provide. Depending on your location, some cities or towns have free dental clinics that provide services as well.

3. Discount Dental Programs

Discount dental programs sound a lot like insurance, but they’re not quite the same. With discount plans, you’re required to pay a fee to gain access to discounted services with chosen providers within your plan.

Before you scope out a plan, call around other dental offices and compare rates to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Remember, if you’re paying cash, dentists are willing to work with you, and may offer you a discount to avoid billing insurance companies.

4. Find A Dentist

If you have ongoing dental treatments like braces or Invisalign, you need to find a dentist in your area to keep up with your treatments. Don’t be afraid to scope out a dentist’s office, ask them about their services – like if they’re an Invisalign provider – and explain your situations.

Some offices will operate on a sliding payment scale, which means your routine check-ups or emergencies might be more affordable than you think. They may also have payment plans or financing available if you have a larger medical issue that need’s to be resolved.

5. Save Money

If you can, try stashing away money for medical emergencies. When something does happen, it won’t catch you off guard as badly, and you’ll have the money to pay for a good portion of your bill.

Dental Emergencies: They Happen

Finding low-cost dental providers is possible for college students. The health of your body depends on the health of your mouth, so make sure you find a dentist today!

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