Affordable Dental Coverage Author:    Posted under: Health InsuranceHealth Insurance questions answeredHealth Insurance Types


During these times of economic distress, foremost on a lot of people’s mind is how to save more money. Doing away with the luxury of traveling to exotic locales, skipping those movie dates, or restraining oneself from going out for drinks with friends are the most common things people do to avoid spending unnecessarily. But more often than not, we sacrifice other necessities as we try to stay on top of our mounting bills and daily expenses.

The increasing number of people going without health coverage is proof of just that. What’s more, oral health is one that’s often neglected by many who do not know that affordable dental coverage, such as the following, exists for them.

Clinical Trials

The National Institute of Dental or Craniofacial Research seeks volunteers for specific dental, oral, and craniofacial needs to take part in clinical trials. The NIDCR provides patient-participants with limited low-cost and sometimes free, dental treatment for a particular condition that they are studying. For more information on any clinical trials that you might qualify for, visit http://clinicaltrials.gov/.

Bureau of Primary Health Care

The Bureau of Primary Health Care is a service of the Health Resources and Services Administration. It supports federally-funded community health centers all over the nation that offers health services, dental care included for free or a reduced cost.

State and Local Resources

Your local or state health department may have more information on programs in your area that provide free or discounted dental care. You may check your local telephone book for the number to your local or state health department to learn more about their programs that offer financial assistance.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) manages these three federally-subsidized programs:

  • Medicare – a health insurance program for individuals who are 65 years and older or for persons with particular disabilities. They have limited dental coverage.
  • Medicaid – this is a state-run program offering medical and sometimes dental care to eligible families and individuals. The guidelines concerning eligibility and covered services vary from state to state.
  • CHIP – State Children’s Health Insurance Program provide medical, and in most cases dental, coverage to children up to age 19 who qualify. As with Medicaid, the covered services under this program vary from state to state.

Dental Schools

More good sources of quality, low-cost dental treatments are dental schools and dental hygiene schools. Most of these teaching facilities offer low-cost and free dental services to participating individuals. Experienced and licensed dentists directly supervise the students as they treat patients to gain experience.

Dental Discount Plans

Unlike insurance, dental discount plans are a membership service allowing access to a network of qualified dentists that are willing to perform dental work in exchange for a discounted cash-basis payment at the time of service. An individual who chooses to become a member can get savings of anywhere between 10% and 60% for dental procedures.

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