Many Americans lack low cost dental access. This crisis is keeping minorities, senior citizens and low-income individuals are often cut off or isolated from affordable dental care. This is a crisis!
In this article, we will discuss the lack of dentists in low-income areas, dental costs, and affordable options for improving your smile.
High dental costs are the number one reason many Americans don’t see a dentist. With offices charging $200 for a routine cleaning and exam, this comes as no surprise.
Dental costs are through the roof! Filling cavities can cost several hundred dollars, and dentures or braces may run into the thousands. Even with insurance, it can be difficult to afford out-of-pocket expenses for these procedures.
Many people who struggle to afford dental costs trust low-cost dentists to work on their smile, but cheap dentistry is often poorly executed. Dentists think that because they’re charging less, they can perform at a lower standard. This is wrong!
Some low-cost dentists make up for lost profits by increasing the number of patients and cutting treatment time in half. This means less time discussing oral health and less time learning how to prevent disease. Low-cost dentists also limit access to dental care because the money they receive is significantly less than the standard fee. This can mean long wait times or low-quality dental work.
Many people avoid licensed dentists all together when trying to reduce their dental costs. Instead of overpaying a dentist to perform a dental deep cleaning, they go to a dental hygienist in training!
Low-Cost Dental Deep Cleaning
There are at least two dental or dental hygiene programs in each state, each with a class of students needing hands-on training before graduation. Many of these schools have clinics that offer low-cost dental treatment to the public.
Dental hygiene schools that serve the public give discounts on cleanings, fillings, root canals and other services. Some of these discounts save patients 50% or more. This is especially helpful if you’re looking for a low-cost dental deep cleaning, which cam cost over $1,000.
While these schools may be a good option for getting low-cost dental treatment, they have their downsides. One downside of this low-cost dental option is a lack of privacy. Many hygiene schools resemble cubicles with dental chairs in each little cubby, so you will most likely be in a room with many other patients.
Another downside of going to a dental hygiene school for low-cost dental work is the pace of your hygienist. Because they very much still in training, your hygienist will likely take an hour or more to complete your cleaning. Instructors will stop to check every stage of your cleaning, further extending the time of the procedure. These cleanings can also be uncomfortable due to the inexperience of the hygienist.
Many people go to dental hygiene schools for their low-cost deep cleaning because they lack available dentists in their area. Low-income areas are hit the hardest by a lack of dental professionals.
Low-Income Dentists in Impoverished Areas
Each year, more low-income dentists move out of impoverished areas and into more profitable ones. In doing this, they widen the divide between patients in need and accessible dentistry, personally alienating lower-class people for profit. This alienation leads many to seek dental care elsewhere, like dental clinics or emergency rooms. This is very dangerous.
Dental clinics see so many patients per day, it becomes difficult to provide quality care to everyone. This can result in complications or ineffective treatment.
Emergency rooms are another place alienated patients go for dental care. Each year, more than one million Americans turn to emergency rooms for dental issues like toothaches. These visits cost roughly $1 billion per year and often yield poor results.
The lack of low-income dentists puts vulnerable people at risk every day. Because they don’t have access to low-cost dental care, they are left with few options.
Vulnerable populations also lack access to low-income dentists. Continue reading to learn more about dentistry in low-income communities!
Low-Cost Dental for Vulnerable Populations
Much of the U.S. population doesn’t have access to affordable dentistry. Racial minorities, senior citizens and low-income individuals are especially vulnerable when it comes to accessing low-cost dental care.
Not having access to low-cost dental care can be deadly. In 2007, for example, 12-year-old Deamonte Driver died due to an untreated abscess in his tooth that spread bacteria to his brain. He needed a simple $80 tooth extraction. Sadly, his family was homeless and had lost their Medicaid coverage, making them especially vulnerable.
Deamonte had many barriers standing between him and his oral health. His race and income level both contributed to his death. Though lawmakers vowed at the time to make a change, nearly 200 million Americans still go without dental insurance, and more than a third don’t see a dentist yearly.
Access to low-cost dental care would have saved Deamonte’s life.
Low-income individuals are also alienated from low-cost dental care. Around 48% of Americans qualify as low income, 47% are affected by periodontal disease. Is this a coincidence? NO!
Many low-income individuals have periodontal disease because they can’t afford the basic dental procedures needed to prevent it. Low-income Americans also lack access to healthy food or overly fluoridated water, making it even more difficult to maintain good oral health.
The elderly population also lacks access to low-cost dental care. This is concerning because people become more susceptible to periodontal disease (gum disease) as they age. Despite this, a fifth of people age 75 and older haven’t seen a dentist in the past five years.
Many senior citizens lose their dental insurance after they retire. While their Medicaid coverage is helpful for medical purposes, it doesn’t cover preventative dental care. So, they are left with limited options.
Seniors often choose dental hygiene schools for their dental cleanings after retirement, but this low-cost dental treatment can be uncomfortable and may take hours to complete.
Some states in the U.S. offer a great option for low-cost dental care.
Dental Therapy – a Possible Low-Cost Dental Solution?
States like Minnesota have implemented a new low-cost dental option for people in need – dental therapists.
Dental Therapists are licensed oral care professionals who work alongside a dental care team to provide clinical and therapeutic care at a reduced rate. They are required to undergo two years of training after High School. In addition, they must have a written collaborative agreement with a practicing dentist and practice primarily in low-income areas or those with a shortage of dental professionals.
In 2009, Minnesota authorized dental therapists to practice statewide. The state requires a bachelor’s degree in dental therapy or a master’s degree in advanced dental therapy. By allowing dental therapists to practice, the state of Minnesota has provided its low-income citizens with a low-cost dental care option.
In Minnesota, dental therapists work in emergency rooms to helping to reduce the number of people seeking dental care in the E.R, which saves people and the state money.
Sarah Wovcha, the executive director of Children’s Dental Services in Minneapolis, expresses the need for dental therapists in ERs:
“I cannot imagine our clinic operating without these critical members of the dental care team. For us, they have proven to be a financially viable solution for making sure that low-income, uninsured and underinsured kids in our state have access to high-quality dental care.”
Although dental therapy is not widely practiced throughout the U.S., more states are embracing the profession. In the future, this may be a great low-cost dental option for all Americans. For now, the issue of affordable smile solution remains.
Luckily, Brighter Image Lab offers a great low-cost option for anyone looking to improve their smile.
Brighter Image Lab: Meeting the Need
Over 20 years ago, Brighter Image Lab was founded to address the central need for low-cost dental solutions. It is our mission to make sure we are approachable as well as affordable. Our customer representatives can be reached 24 hours a day to help you through the process with ease and compassion.
Many people feel anxious when visiting the dentist because they feel judged. At Brighter Image Lab, we see every client with a perfect set of pearly whites from day one, because it is our job to see the potential in every smile. When you snap on your set of Bil Veneers for the first time, you will see the potential in your smile that has been holding you back for so long.
Your low-cost options shouldn’t have to be low-quality options. With Brighter Image Lab, they aren’t. Bil Veneers are made from top-quality materials and have the potential to completely transform any smile. With our Lab Direct Process, you are able to bypass the dentist and save thousands!
Continue reading to learn more about Bil Veneers!
Bil Veneers: The Low-Cost Smile Solution You’ve Been Looking For!
More than a third of low-income Americans don’t smile because of poor oral health. Ashamed and stigmatized, they are cut off from opportunities such as social advancement and work that could possibly bring them out of poverty.
Luckily, there’s a way to improve your smile without draining your bank account. Brighter Image Lab’s Bil Veneers are a great alternative to expensive procedures like porcelain veneers.
You can remove the veneers as often as you want, or keep them on for an all-day smile solution. They are made from a crystalized resin and designed to be lightweight and durable. They’re comfortable enough for constant wear and strong enough to hold up against food.
Bil Veneers are ultra-thin and removable. They simply over your existing teeth to give the appearance of a perfect smile.
These revolutionary veneers are designed and artisan hand-crafted by a 15-member crew of smile technicians. Their perfectly polished texture and unbeatable shine will have you wondering why you ever needed a dentist to improve your smile.
Starting at just $795, Bil Veneers are a great value. Brighter Image Lab offers financing with 100% approval and no credit necessary, so smile transformation is possible for virtually everyone. But we don’t stop there! We partner with a non-profit organization that gives candidates a complete smile makeover for FREE. Read on to learn more!
New Life Smile
New Life Smile is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the underprivileged overcome the disadvantages of a socially unacceptable smile. They find candidates with massive potential who want to improve their smile and do everything in their power to make it happen.
The organization’s smile specialists work shoulder-to-shoulder with dentists in the area and go beyond traditional dental methods to transform each candidate’s smile.
In the U.S., 40 million people live below the poverty line, 1 in 4 do not have dental insurance and 28% say their smile hinders job and relationship opportunities.
New Life Smile funds non-invasive smile makeovers, providing clients the ability to advance their lives, personally, socially, and financially.
While New Life Smile cannot create a new smile for everyone, the organization has learned that dramatic change is possible for those who want it.
Lasting change starts with a smile. It changes the way people see themselves, which allows them to rediscover confidence they forgot they had and explore new opportunities that weren’t available to them.
If you are interested in becoming a New Life Smile candidate, click here to submit your story today!
Finding low-cost quality dentistry is a difficult task. This is concerning because untreated cavities can spread into the gum tissue and grow into abscesses, causing excruciating pain and, in some cases, death.
Low-income areas are often deserted by dentists, leaving people with little to no options for dental care. Many low-income Americans have nowhere to turn, so they go to emergency rooms that rush through cases and provide sub-par dental care
Essentially, dentists are failing the ones who need them most. They are building barriers between the lower-class and affordable smile enhancement. This is wrong!
Luckily, Brighter Image Lab has been breaking down barriers in the dental industry for over two decades, so we’ve got you covered!
Our revolutionary Bil Veneers can transform your smile in an instant without a dentist! These veneers are ultra-lightweight, durable and completely removable. You simply snap them over your existing teeth for the appearance of a perfect smile.
Too many Americans are alienated and marginalized when it comes to affordable dental care. At Brighter Image Lab, we work tirelessly to offer low-cost dental options for anyone who is unhappy with their smile.
You can join the ranks of thousands of satisfied Bil Veneer clients and transform your smile today by clicking below and placing your order!