Free or low cost dental care.
There are a few places to turn to for free dental care, including community clinics/health centers, colleges, volunteers, non-profits and more. The services offered vary by location and program, with some places performing even advanced treatments such as oral surgeries. Note that, depending on the household income, the care may be free or they may be a minimal cost for dental services. Or their may be emergency care offered to some patients. In addition, some income restrictions, assets/savings requirements or other criteria may need to be met. Find how to get free dental care for adults, children, or the low income below.
Dental Lifeline assistance programs
The Dental Lifeline Network in a nationwide non-profit organization that is made up of over 15,000 dentists and over 3,000 offices as well as labs. Considering the thousands of locations that make up the network, there are locations in most states and counties across the nation, with more information below. Another option for people to explore are community dental clinics, and see below for more information.
Each dentist and hygienist that is part of the non-profit Lifeline program is committed to providing free or very low cost, yet high quality, dental care to the low income, disabled, elderly, and people with a medical condition. Many of the members of the network work part time providing care, however others have dedicated themselves full time to this.
These dentists are volunteering their time, guidance and services to provide extensive dental care at no charge to families and individuals across the country. They will offer coverage regardless of their income or health insurance coverage. If there is not a dental provider in the Lifeline Network that is convenient to where you live, then ask for a referral or additional advice.
The programs and services, which are all run at the local level, will help patients of all backgrounds and ages who both lack adequate income and health insurance. Maybe the individual is struggling because of such reasons including a serious disability, medical condition, or maybe they are senior citizens and live on a fixed income. Most of the programs are fairly flexible, and they try to accommodate as many people as possible, including some free emergency dental care. Patients may be able to save thousands of dollars on their medical bills and health care costs by using the Lifeline network.
The non-profit started operations in the 1970s. During that timeframe, the charitable organization has provided assistance to, and some would say transformed the lives, of hundreds of thousands of patients who are low income, disabled, elderly or medically at-risk. Many kids also benefit and the Lifeline has information to help children at risk of tooth decay. Services are offered in all 50 states, and it is estimated that the amount of dental care provided is valued at almost $200 million dollars per year.
The goal of the Lifeline Network is to arrange for and provide comprehensive dental treatment, cleanings, consultations and long-term preventive services to those who need help. There is a strong focus on the needy, disabled, children, elderly or medically compromised. While sites may offer emergency services, they will generally require an appointment in advance.
The exact type of dental care administered may vary based upon the over 15,000 dentists who operate as part of the Dental Lifeline Network, but the aid provided is extensive. Some will offer cleanings, consultations, fluoride and check ups. Others may offer more in depth treatment, such as tooth extractions, root canal work, crowns, or X-Ray. Patients will need to call for details.
In addition, the people who receive free dental care cannot afford necessary treatment on their own, do not have insurance, nor do they get public aid. DDS patients have slipped through the cracks of federal and state government Medicaid and Medicare programs, and basically have no where else to turn for quality yet affordable dental care.
To learn more about the programs or services offered, or to find a dentist that is close to where you live, dial 303.534.5360. This is the phone number to the Lifeline Network.
Free assistance from dental clinics
There are a number of non-profit dental clinics/health centers and programs that help millions of people every year get access to the care they need. Some are funded by federal and state government funds or grants, others by private donations. Some centers are run by students or volunteer dentists and hygienists. Find locations of reduced priced or free dental facilities in your local community, and learn about the services they provide qualified applicants
College or dental schools offer free care
A number of local colleges as well as technical schools offer dental school programs, meaning students can get a degree in the field. The degrees take multiple years to get and are intense. As part of a students training, many colleges will provide free dental care in the community. This allows the students to get real life experience in treating patients, performing surgeries and more.
Any care given by a college student will be closely supervised and checked by an experienced licensed dentist and/or their professor. In some ways it is a form of internship. Cleanings, checkups and other services may be offered. Find dental schools for free care.
It is possible to get emergency dental care as well for a crisis. There are a number of resources out there that may offer this, with a focus on children, teenagers, senior citizens, the homeless and vulnerable. While it can help in a crisis, appointments/advanced notice is normally needed. More on free emergency dental care near you.