Many people put off getting essential dental care due to the perceived high cost of treatment. There comes a time, however, when these dental issues become too serious to ignore. If you're tempted to skip your next dental appointment on account of a strained budget, it's time to consider low- or no-cost dental care solution. Here are some ways to get the treatment you need without breaking the bank.

Dental Savings Plans

A common solution for those who are unable to pay for dental care in full is to invest in a dental savings plan. Not only are dental savings plans affordable, but they are typically activated immediately -- unlike dental insurance, which usually requires a waiting period before coming into effect. The best dentists in Gold Coast provide in-office signup forms for dental savings plans, so you can obtain coverage at the time of your dental appointment. This allows you to receive care from the dentist of your choice instead of being assigned a dentist by your plan provider.

Community Dental Care

Low- and no-cost dental clinics are available in every state, though you may need to travel outside of your city to access one. Dental care at these clinics is generally priced on a sliding scale based on your income. To locate a community dental care clinic in your state, consult with your local public hospital or contact your state's dental association. You can also find a listing of low- and no-cost dental clinics on the American Dental Association's website.

Clinical Trials

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) often seeks volunteer participants for federally-funded medical studies. These studies allow volunteers to receive free or low-cost treatment for specific dental, oral, and craniofacial conditions that are being studied. The NIDCR website provides a list of all of their current research studies. Consulting this list may point you to a clinical trial that suits your dental care needs.

Emergency Dental Care

While hospital emergency rooms aren't usually the first option that comes to mind when seeking dental care, they are among the best solutions for those who have an oral infection or are experiencing significant tooth pain. In fact, the American Dental Association estimates that hospital emergency rooms see patients with toothaches every 15 seconds. A trip to the emergency room will generally be more expensive than other options on this list (the average cost of having a dental emergency treated at the ER is $750), but it's a much better solution than allowing a serious oral health issue to go untreated.

Dental Schools

Dental school clinics are a great alternative to public dental clinics. Dental students work under the supervision of licensed dentists, so you can be sure you'll receive the best possible care. As with community dental clinics, pricing for dental procedures at a dental school is considered on a sliding scale. A full list of dental schools in your state can be found on the American Dental Association's website.

As you can see from the options presented above, there are several easy ways to get the dental care you need without overextending your budget. If money is tight, consider one of these low- or no-cost alternatives to costly dental treatments.