Person holding phone.


Affording Dentistry

Written By : Generations of Smiles Writers

Reviewed By : Charles Rodgers, DDS

Published: Jun 02, 2021

In This Article

Finding a way to pay for dentistry can be challenging at times. Not all employers offer dental benefits. You may be in between jobs. Older people are more likely to have dental issues and less likely to have dental insurance. Plus, Medicare doesn't cover most dental care or procedures.

Some respond by avoiding the dentist altogether. But avoiding needed treatment can lead to an even bigger dental bill down the road as an oral health issue worsens. Here are a few things to consider when you're trying to figure out a healthier financial solution for a healthier smile.

What to do if I can't afford a dentist?

Ask about different payment options. Don't be shy! Many dental practices will be happy to help. Smile Generation-trusted dental offices typically have a Benefits Coordinator on staff who can help you understand your benefits and various payment options.

Smile Generation-trusted practices offer customized financing solutions that are helping people all over the country. For example, Smile Generation Dental Plan is a discount dental plan that can save 20% -  50% on most dental procedures. A dental plan is different from insurance; there are no deductibles and no co-pays. You simply pay a nominal membership fee to get discounts on services.

Can I make payments on dental work?

A high-interest rate is not the only option. Smile Generation Financial and CareCredit both offer a more budget-friendly path with 0% financing for 18 months. Some other dentists may allow weekly or monthly payment plans. It's worth asking. They may require a certain amount of money down, and then let you pay off the rest in regular monthly or weekly installments. Find out before moving forward with treatment; you may be pleasantly surprised to find an affordable solution that works for you.

What other types of financial assistance for dental work exist?

Different states offer different levels of assistance. Check with your State Dental Association. Dental schools are another option some choose for basic treatment. If you don't know of any, the American Dental Association lists dental schools in your area. The American Dental Hygienists' Association can help you find a dental hygiene schools near you which may offer assistance. Finally, your local community health center in your area may offer care that is available based on what you can afford.

Insurance-wise, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance marketplaces offer dental coverage for children and some states also offer dental coverage for adults. You can get dental insurance as part of a medical plan or as a standalone. The American Dental Association offers more information on how to choose a plan under the ACA.

Some dentists choose to give back to their communities by setting aside a day for offering free or low-cost care. Smile Generation Serve Day is one such day of service where dental practices across the country set aside a day for serving others through dentistry. Since it began in 2011, over 15,000 people have received care.

Can I get dental implants and pay monthly?

For over 40 years, dental professionals have placed dental implants in patients to restore their oral function while also helping to prevent further bone loss. But many dental insurance companies still do not cover the cost for dental implant surgery. Because of this, financing dental implants with a monthly payment plan is a common approach. Again, with $0 in interest for 18 months, Smile Generation Financial is a great place to start.

How can I get a dental treatment done with bad credit?

Even with less-than-ideal credit, you may still have options for getting dental treatment done. Ask your dentist about possible payment plans where you can make a down payment and then make regular payments. You can also look into credit lines available specifically for dental care.

Does The Smile Generation® network of offices offer financing?

We make it a priority to help you find affordable dentistry with flexible financing options to get the treatment you need or want. Discount dental plans such as Smile Generation Dental Plan offer same-day savings, which means you can get treatment on the same day you sign up without a waiting period. As mentioned earlier, financing is available through Smile Generation Financial and Care Credit. You can use it with or without dental insurance to make minimum monthly payments at any Smile Generation-trusted dental office.

The Smile Generation is here to help. We can help you find a trusted, local dentist who fits your needs. We can also help you find all the information you need for a healthier smile—including how to pay for it.


Find your trusted, local dentist today!


Smile Generation blog articles are reviewed by a licensed dental professional before publishing. However, we present this information for educational purposes only with the intent to promote readers’ understanding of oral health and oral healthcare treatment options and technology. We do not intend for our blog content to substitute for professional dental care and clinical advice, diagnosis, or treatment planning provided by a licensed dental professional. Smile Generation always recommends seeking the advice of a dentist, physician, or other licensed healthcare professional for a dental or medical condition or treatment. 

Nearly 67 million Americans — about 20% of the population — don’t have dental coverage. If you’re one of them, you may not go to the dentist as often as you’d like to. Whether you’re interested i
Properly cleaning and caring for your mouth is crucial for maintaining good oral health. When your teeth and gums do not receive the attention they need, you are leaving your mouth at risk of developi
Tooth care begins as soon as a baby’s teeth erupt in their mouth and is necessary for a person's entire life. Along with brushing twice a day and flossing, routine dental visits help keep teeth and gu