Re: Looking for a dental payment plan
With dental insurance, those drs that enroll with an ins company generally agree to standard rates and accept what the insurance company gives them with a small amount payable by the patient. This is often referred to in-network drs. When you go to a dr that has not enrolled or particpates with an is co (referred to as out-of network drs), you usually pay the dr the fee he charges and submit a claim to the insurance co for reimbursement. The reimbursement is usually much less that what they would have covered had you used an in-network dr.
I have seen ads in my local paper of drs that offer financing - but it again may be based on credit. The only way to find a dr who is willing to accept a monthly personal payment is to call around and ask. Nowadays most dentists don't offer that too much - its too much trouble for them to go after people who just stop paying them after the work has been done. So most want payment up front.
Have you tried checking for free dental services in your area on the web or with your local governement (be it city, county, state, etc.) to see if they offer or sponsor dental services for those with low incomes?
UNC doesn't sound like much of a dental school if they only accept 4 patients from a random drawing - in most dental schools, the student dentists work on patients to get experience...although I I have heard the wait can be long due to the number of people that go to them. Did you check out what their site said if you had a emergency - sometimes they can get you in sooner.