I witnessed an interesting exchange while waiting for my three nieces at the dentist's office this morning. A woman was waiting for her kids and she went up to the counter and asked the receptionist if she had programs for people without insurance.
"What do you need done?" asked the receptionist.
"I have a tooth that needs pulled, it cracked." the woman responded.
"Well, an exam is $195 dollars."
"OK. Is that the price of pulling the tooth?"
"No, that's just for the exam. To get your tooth pulled it's $495 dollars."
"Oh, okay. Well hopefully I'll get my tax check soon and get this tooth taken care of."
I couldn't help but eavesdrop on this conversation, and I double-checked a site in Austin run by an organization called Manos de Christo. They run a dental clinic in East Austin that helps those that are uninsured to get work done. I looked up the site, found the phone number and wrote it on the back of my card and as the receptionist was looking away, told her to give them a call. They can help. She proceed to call them up, spoke for a minute or two, wrote something down.
Maybe she won't have to live in pain until she gets her tax return check after all. If you know of someone in need who's suffering from pain from a broken tooth, refer them here:
Manos de Christo Dental Clinic
The Manos de Cristo Dental Clinic is currently the only low-fee, full-service dental clinic in Austin. Check them out, and if you're so inclined, they have a donate page. Treat someone to a smile. Or volunteer.