Free Charitable or Low-Cost Dental Care Options for Uninsured or Low Income People Author:    Posted under: Health InsuranceHealth Insurance questions answeredHealth Insurance Rates


Disregarding the care of your teeth and gums can have severe consequences in the long run. Studies show that there is a direct link between the bacteria that cause gum disease and heart disease. There are a number of options available to you should you find yourself in need of dental care and unable to afford the cost. The time that you take to make inquiries regarding free or low cost dental care in your community or state will only benefit you.

Contact your local or state dental society to find out what, if any, kind of programs are available in your area. Assistance programs will vary from state to state.

Another alternative you can explore are dental school clinics, dental hygiene schools. These schools often sponsor public clinics where student dentists and hygienists carry out actual dental work, under the supervision of their instructors or experienced dentists, at low cost. Low-income patients may be able to receive low-cost or free dental care from these clinics. However, student clinics don’t offer a complete range of services. Make sure to call beforehand to ascertain what kind of work they are able to do.

Participating in clinical studies conducted by organizations such as the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research may avail you of low-cost or even free dental care. Such organizations require volunteers for their clinical trials. The scope and location for these clinical studies vary but you can check their website (http://clinicaltrials.gov/) to find opportunities for you.

Several community health centers, with the help of Health Resources and Services Administration, provide crucial dental care to uninsured and low-income individuals and families. You may be able to find some that specifically provide dental care for adults based on income, whereas some are just for school-age children. Visit their website (http://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/GoogleSearch_HCC.aspx) for a list of participating local community health centers.

For those who are seriously ill or disabled, the National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped (NFDH) sponsors the Donated Dental Services program. With this, they provide charity or significantly discounted dental care for those who are eligible. Dentists perform the dental work in their own offices, and if necessary, in the patient’s home.

Charitable institutions such as the Salvation Army, among others, are also able to provide recommendations for other sources of low-cost dental care in your community. Often dentists offer first-visit discounts on exams and cleanings and sometimes even payment plans if you are able to pay cash upfront for services.

Discounted dental plans may also be just for you. A quick search on the internet can turn up several companies offering affordable dental plans. Their website will require you to enter your zip code and they will help you find a dentist and discounted dental plans in your area that might just fit your needs.

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