Updated on April 22, 2024
3 min read

Dental Emergency, No Insurance: How to Find Affordable Care

NewMouth is reader supported. We may earn a commission if you purchase something using one of our links. Advertising Disclosure.

What is Considered a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency involves either a worsening infection or trauma. These are dental issues that require immediate treatment.

Knowing how to quickly recognize these issues will help enable the best possible outcome.

Dental Infections

Bacterial infections can begin within a tooth or in the tissues surrounding a tooth. 

Infections spread into the jawbone around the teeth regardless of where they begin. If these infections aren’t treated promptly, they can spread into the tissues of the face and neck.

An emergency dentist will provide antibiotic therapy and address the cause of the infection with dental treatment. 

Infections that cause swelling inside or outside the mouth can be treated with: 

A spreading infection is dangerous anywhere in the human body. The unique danger of dental infections is their proximity to the airway and brain. 

In rare cases, dental infections can lead to death when left untreated.


Dental trauma refers to mouth-related injuries. Injuries to the mouth can be painful and should receive immediate treatment.

Dental trauma can occur through:

  • Car accidents
  • Sports injuries
  • Physical conflicts 

Urgent dental care is necessary if an injury to the face breaks, moves, or knocks out a tooth.

A knocked-out tooth is the most urgent of these situations. When an entire tooth comes out, you have the chance of “saving” it by re-implanting it into the socket.

The sooner this occurs, the better your chance that it will be successful. 

Calculate your dental savings now with a DentalPlans plan. Visit DentalPlans.

Low-Cost Dental Care Options When You Have No Insurance

If you lack dental insurance and need care, there are ways to receive dental treatment at reduced or no cost.

Here are some possible options to consider:

Dental Schools

Dental colleges offer dental treatment to patients at a fraction of the cost of private practice care. Dental students complete the treatment under the supervision of faculty.

Payment Plans

Many dental offices offer payment plans or financing options for expensive dental treatments. This allows you to make payments on your treatment over a selected length of time.

Government Dental Clinics

Most urban areas have dental clinics operating as public health services. These clinics offer low-cost treatment to patients who meet the clinic’s specific criteria.

Charity Dental Clinics

Many cities have charity clinics operated by nonprofits or churches. Dentists volunteer their time to treat patients for free.

Community or Charity Events

Various state dental associations host charity events. During these events, dentists come together to treat hundreds of patients within a single weekend.

Dental Plans

With a discount dental plan, you’ll pay a monthly or annual fee ($100 to $200) and save 10 to 60% on dental care.

What is not Considered a Dental Emergency?

Some situations don’t require the attention of an emergency dentist:

  • Toothaches with no swelling 
  • Cracked or chipped teeth
  • Mouth sores
  • Bleeding gums

Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers can sometimes help relieve symptoms. If the condition isn’t getting noticeably worse, it’s likely not a dental emergency. Check with your dentist to be sure. 

Tired of paying full price for dental work? Save with Discount Dental Plans. Learn more here or call (833) 704-2246

How to Avoid a Dental Emergency

The only way to avoid a dental emergency due to infection is to regularly go to the dentist. They can catch dental problems before they become an emergency.

Some trauma is unavoidable, but you can prevent trauma from sports injuries by wearing an athletic mouth guard during contact sports. 

Ready for Affordable Dental Care?

DentalPlans makes finding affordable dental care simple. Compare top plans, know your exact costs, and find the perfect dentist near you.

Discover Your Dental Savings Plan Now.

Last updated on April 22, 2024
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on April 22, 2024
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. American Dental Association (ADA), “What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?
  2. American Dental Association (ADA), “Medical Emergencies in the Dental Office: Response Guide.” 2018.
  3. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Benefits.
  4. Commission on Dental Accreditation. Search for dental programs, 2019.
  5. (DCD), Digital Communications Division. “Where Can I Find Low-Cost Dental Care?” HHS.gov, 2021.
  6. Dental Care.” Medicaid.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram