Dental clinics provide free or low cost dental care.
Millions of individuals need access to free or low cost dental care. They may not have access to proper care due to lack of health insurance or maybe the coverage on their current insurance policy does not pay for it. Other families need help as maybe their household income is too low to pay for any type of medical or dental bills. There are numerous free dental clinics listed by state below, government programs, and other resources that people can turn to for assistance.
Local and state government programs
Resources are available in most regions of the country. Some of the programs the government may finance and run themselves, and there may be some other options that they are aware of and can refer individuals too. There are dental clinics that partner with local municipalities to help families on Medicaid or Medicare, and some that cover patients on the Affordable Care Act.
Never hesitate to check with government offices to get information on reduced priced or free dental care. Call your state or local health department. There are also charities and non-profits that can put clients into contact with government benefits. In addition, find an extensive listing of government assistance programs.
Dental schools and hospitals
They include both sites that hygienists may train at as well as full fledged dental schools. The locations will often offer care to all patients. The services are extensive and can range from cleaning teeth to more advanced dental care, such as root canals or extractions. A priority for a clinic at a college or a local hospital is usually on helping children or senior citizens that do not have dental health insurance.
How this works is that most sites are really teaching facilities, and well trained students provide the care. They will always be supervised by permanent staff. It benefits everyone involved as the students gain experience, and families and individuals get access to needed care at no cost to them. At all schools and colleges there are full time dentists overseeing the process, so the quality of the assistance offered stays high and does not suffer from a student providing the care. Contact the American Dental Association (312-440-2500) in order to find a listing of schools that may offer this assistance. Or read more dental school and college clinics.
Dental clinics and health care centers
Most of the funding for these sites comes from the Health Resources and Services Administration. This federal government agency will help fund and provide various forms of financial support to community health centers that are located in your state, town or county. As part of the funding that these clinics receive, they are obligated to offer free or reduced-cost health and medical services, including dental care, to people of all backgrounds and income levels. They also support the uninsured and households living in poverty.
Depending on some factors, including your income, family size, and insurance status, you may need to contribute towards your bills. The dental care will be billed to the patient on a sliding fee, income based approach. However if your income is low enough, the care offered at these dental clinics should be offered at no cost. Read more on the Health Resources and Services Administration.
Federal government dental assistance programs
There are three main solutions out there that are possibilities. They include Medicaid, Medicare, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is available for children under a certain age. Specifically, regarding Medicaid, the dental coverage provided by this program is limited in nature, and unfortunately it does not cover most routine dental care, dentures, or some other basic services.
Medicare is funded by the federal government, but the terms of the program and what is or isn’t covered is established by your state government. It is a health insurance program that is available for people who are 65 years and older or for those patients who have specific disabilities or a special need. While once again, the rules and coverage is set by the state, in general most government agencies will provide some form of limited emergency dental services for those people and individuals who are age 21 or over. There are some states that will offer much more comprehensive free dental care or services to qualified applicants. More on Medicare health insurance.
Last, but not least, CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) is another potential solution. It is a government program for children under the age of 19 if they do not have insurance coverage. The exact type and amount of benefits for CHIP are set by your state government as well. However in most cases, dental care is part of what is offered, however the exact type and nature of the services covered under this assistance program vary from state to state. But it generally pay for cleaning for children, fluoride, and other preventative measures.
Community action agencies and United Way
These not for profit agencies operate in almost every state and county across the United States. Both of them are great places to call for information on how to access free or reduced-cost dental clinics. The offices tend to have a list of centers and other social services that are available in your local community. Get a listing of community action agencies and learn about dental programs they may offer.
Dental clinics by state
Free or low cost dental care is offered at community clinics. While the availability of services will vary by state and center, each location is committed to doing whatever it can to help the low income and uninsured, including children. If a clinic can’t meet your specific need then they may have referrals for you.