Where can you get your tooth pulled for free when I don’t have dental insurance?
Sometimes, asking the right questions gets you to your destination more quickly.
How to get a costless tooth extraction is a better question because Medicaid and your healthcare plan may cover the cost in specific situations, regardless of where you go to get treatment.
Meanwhile, getting your tooth pulled for nothing without insurance is a long shot. But you could find local help with dentures to restore your smile through financing, government clinics, charitable organizations, or grants for low-income adults.
How To Get Teeth Pulled For Free
The best way to get your teeth pulled for free is to have a third party cover the cost. This method lets you choose from many dentists near your home because an insurance company pays the claim.
Low-income families can often get free tooth extractions and dentures in their neighborhood courtesy of Medicaid, which always has a medical component while sometimes supporting oral care.
Medicaid covers dental work for adults differently in each state. Therefore, the coverage for extractions has a powerful geographic influence based on why you need to have teeth pulled.
- Medicaid covers medically necessary oral care nationwide under its healthcare component. See the next section for examples.
- In thirty-four states, Medicaid pays for oral care connected to decay and periodontal disease, while sixteen will only cover emergency services.
- Procedures necessary to control bleeding, relieve pain, or eliminate acute infections
- Services that are required to prevent “pulpal death” and the imminent loss of teeth
Dentists near you accepting Medicaid are easy to find if your state supports benefits for oral care. Look for the Dental Benefits Manager (DBM) indicated on your ID card, visit their website, and utilize their “Find a Provider” feature.
Input your zip code and get a list of in-network dentists sorted by distance from your home. The DBM chosen by your state might be one of these private companies.
- Liberty Dental
- Managed Care of North America (MCNA)
- Delta Dental
Medicaid covers dentures for adults in thirty-three states, meaning your costs will be nearly zero if you live in a designated region. However, those residing in the seventeen other states must pay the retail price.
Find a prosthodontist accepting Medicaid for dentures using the same protocol outlined above. Get a listing of in-network providers with an office close to your zip code from the Dental Benefits Manager.
People who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid might still get their teeth pulled for free when their health insurance covers the tab. Two types of medically necessary procedures do the trick.
The dental procedures covered by health insurance are medically necessary: care arising from non-biting accidents, certain diseases, and treatments considered integral to other services included in the plan.
Tooth extractions meet this definition in at least three ways.
- After an accidental injury, dislodging or breaking teeth
- Before radiation treatment for cancer of the neck or jaw
- When the tooth is bone-impacted – not soft tissue (gum)
Free wisdom teeth removal is possible when your third molars are bone-impacted because your health insurance (or Medicaid) deems the surgical extraction medically necessary.
Bone-impacted wisdom teeth meet the medically necessary criteria because they can cause pain and infection and develop cysts, triggering coverage for multiple services.
- Extraction of partially or entirely bony third molars
- Therapeutic drug injection (Dexamethasone)
- Deep sedation (general anesthesia)
- Panoramic radiographic image
Purchasing a new dental insurance plan will not help you get your tooth pulled for free, but it could make the dentures needed to restore chewing function more affordable.
You can get around the missing tooth clause by purchasing the plan months before the extraction. The plan will exclude benefits for the more expensive dentures as a pre-existing condition if you wait until just before the dentist pulls your tooth.
Dental insurance with no waiting period for dentures may not cover the cost of the extraction while paying a small percentage for the replacement teeth. However, the discounts from using an in-network prosthodontist are where you will find the most value.
Free Tooth Extractions Without Insurance
Next, we explore ways to get free tooth extractions without using medical or dental insurance to fund the procedure. Naturally, the options discussed in this section will help fewer people or merely lower costs to a more reasonable level.
Interest-free financing is a terrific option when you need a tooth pulled without insurance or money. Pay the dentist from your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to unlock several hidden benefits.
No credit check dental financing via an FSA is easy. Your employer must immediately reimburse any qualifying expense, even at the beginning of the plan year, giving you up to 52 weeks to repay the loan. Your employer cannot pull a copy of your consumer report or consider your FICO or Vantage score.
Interest-free medical loans via an FSA are just the beginning. Your employer cannot charge for using their money, and you repay the loan using pre-tax payroll contributions, which reduce your exposure to three possible levies: federal income, state income, and FICA taxes.
A free government dental clinic near you might be able to pull your tooth at little or no additional cost. This pathway appeals to patients without insurance to pick up most of the tab.
Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) are community-based entities that receive funds from the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) to provide services in under-served communities. They must operate a governing board and offer care on a sliding scale based on the patient’s ability to pay.
Find a list of FQHC in your area on the HRSA website. Contact each center before booking an appointment, as many do not provide dental care, although many do. Expect to complete an application asking detailed questions about your finances.
Charitable organizations in your vicinity are another possible avenue toward free tooth extractions without insurance. However, they may not be the best alternative if you are experiencing intense pain.
Charities that help with adult dental costs rely on the generosity of donors rather than government funding. Therefore, resources are limited. Expect long wait times as the demand for zero-cost treatment always outstrips supply with most of these non-profit entities.
- Dental Lifeline Network
- Smiles for Everyone
- Give Back a Smile
- Dentistry from the Heart
- Charitable Smiles
Dental grants are not ideal for getting a tooth pulled for free without insurance, but they could make the replacement dentures or implants more affordable.
Dental grants for low-income adults rarely help with emergency treatment such as extractions because arranging the extra financial help takes time. Plus, these programs do not always work the way you might like.
- Government grants help with other expenses unless you include Medicaid (see above) in the definition.
- Grants from private companies work more like discounts for cosmetic work to attract patients to provider offices.