A group of dental students with a patient.

Discount Dental Work Through a Dental School

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Even after a painless trip to your dentist, the impending bill can be anxiety-producing. Procedures at a general dentist's office can cost you, and without comprehensive insurance, paying for them can be especially painful. But it's important to get both preventative and emergency dental care when you need it, so what's a patient to do?

Discount dental work through dental schools includes many of the same services your dentist offers for a fraction of the cost. If the price of pearly whites is too much for you to bear or is stopping you from getting the care that you need, having this work done through a dental school may be the happy medium between the care you need and the price you can pay. Here's how to ensure you're making the right choice.

Pros of Dental School

Choosing a dental school to get discounted dental work done shouldn't be a task taken lightly. If you do your homework, however, you may realize some great benefits. For example, most dental schools have licensed dentists to supervise the process, so dental students aren't without guidance when working on their patients. These professionals observe and provide necessary checks and corrections to make sure the work is done correctly. You can rest assured that just because a dental student is less experienced doesn't mean you'll compromise on care.

In addition, students practice hard to get it right. Discount dental care through colleges makes sense because each student-dentist is there to master these procedures. Because they need the practice and want to impress their teachers, they take their time to ensure the work is done as professionally as their career requires.

Dental school oral treatment is also great for preventative care. Although you may want to leave more in-depth procedures to an experienced dentist, getting simple procedures like root canals at dental schools is an inexpensive approach to preventative care. This service should include X-rays, professional cleanings, and even dental sealants.

Cons of Dental School

Dental schools can offer you most of the services you need at a much lower cost than a typical dental office, but it's not appropriate for every type of treatment. Because dental students are practicing, they may work more slowly than an experienced dentist to complete these procedures effectively. Therefore, your appointment may take longer than usual, which isn't ideal if you're pressed for time.

Naturally, your appointment will be less personal. Chances are you've seen your dentist for years, and they know your history, prescribe necessary medications, and treat you accordingly. Dental schools don't have the luxury of repeat patients and cycle through students as they enroll. You can expect to relay your medical and dental history to new students each time you visit.

Insurance can be complicated at dental schools, as well. Medicaid and most dental insurance policies cover work done by accredited dental schools (you can check to make sure a school is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation). However, you might find that you're responsible for paying for service upfront and then make a claim for reimbursement through your insurance carrier afterward. When in doubt, give your provider a call before you have any work done through an institution.

Having discount dental work done through a dental school may make the most sense for your financial situation. As long as you clear the work through your insurance policy and choose an accredited school, you can save hundreds of dollars while still getting the care you need.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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