If you don't have insurance or enough money to fix your teeth, dental financial assistance programs may be a good alternative for you. In this article, we'll explain how you can get free dental help and walk you through the dental assistance programs you can turn to. We will also show you a map where you can search for low-cost dentists near you.
Next, we will tell you about all the free dental help programs for low-income people in the United States. We will also show you the government support systems and talk about the alternatives available to you. Then, we will focus on the dental clinics near you and the different services that are available.
Is there free dental help in the United States?
There are many dental help systems where you get your teeth fixed for free. Almost all are private and provide full or partial assistance. Next, we show you all the free dental help programs in the United States.
1. Dental schools
Try not to spend a lot of time chasing down local dental schools that claim to do free work. Many online pages have headlines suggesting that these promotions are real. However, when you follow the links, you realize that most clinics charge patients. Perhaps they have some consideration for your economic situation, just that.
Dental schools recruit residents for their students to practice their trade under the supervision of faculty. However, each university clinic determines the fees, discounts and eligibility criteria for any work. Next, we will show you some of the accredited universities that offer this service.
|Dental Schools in the United States
|University of Alabama
|1720 University Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35294, United States
|AT Still University Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health
|ATSU-ASDOH Dental Clinic5855 East Still Circle
Mesa, AZ 85206
|Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine-Arizona
|19555 N 59th Ave, GlendaleA-Z 85308
|California Northstate University College of Dental Medicine
|9700 W Taron Dr, Elk GroveCA 95757
|Loma Linda University School of Dentistry
|11092 Anderson St, Loma LindaCA 92350
|Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC
|925 W 34th St #201j, Los Angeles, CA 90089
|University of California, Los Angeles, School of Dentistry
|714 Tiverton Ave, Los AngelesCA 90024
|University of California, San Francisco, School of Dentistry
|707 Parnassus Ave, San FranciscoCA 94143
|University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry
|155 5th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
|Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine
|795 E Second StreetThird Floor, Suite 8
Pomona, CA 91766
|University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine
|13065 E 17th Ave, Aurora, CO 80045
|University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine
|300 UConn Health Boulevard, FarmingtonTC 06030
|District of Columbia
|Howard University College of Dentistry
|600 W St NW #2005, Washington, DC, DC 20059
|Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Dental Medicine
|4800 Lakewood Ranch Boulevard Bradenton, FL 34211
|Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine
|3050 S University Dr, Davie, FL 33314
|University of Florida College of Dentistry
|1395 Center Dr, GainesvilleFL 32610
|Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University
|1430 John Wesley Gilbert Drive, Augusta, GA 30912
|Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine-Illinois
|19555 N 59th Ave. Glendale, AZ 85308
|Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine
|2800 College Ave, Alton, IL 62002
|University of Illinois Chicago College of Dentistry
|801 S Paulina St, Chicago, IL 60612
|Indiana University School of Dentistry
|1121 W Michigan St, Indianapolis, IN 46202
|The University of Iowa College of Dentistry & Dental Clinics
|801 Newton Rd, Iowa City, IA 52242
|University of Kentucky College of Dentistry
|800 Rose St, Lexington, KY 40536
|Louisiana State University Health New Orleans School of Dentistry
|1100 Florida Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119
|University of New England College of Dental Medicine
|11 Hills Beach Rd, Biddeford, ME 04005
|University of Maryland School of Dentistry
|650 W Baltimore St, Baltimore, MD 21201
|Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine
|635 Albany St, Boston, MA 02118
|Harvard School of Dental Medicine
|188 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115
|Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
|1 Kneeland St, Boston, MA 02111
|University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry
|2700 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Detroit, MI 48208
|University of Minnesota School of Dentistry
|515 Delaware St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
|University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Dentistry
|2500 North State Street School of Dentistry Building, Jackson, MS 39216
|Kansas City University College of Dental Medicine
|1750 Independence Ave, Kansas City, MO 64106
|University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry
|4000 E Campus Loop, Lincoln, NE 68583
|University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine
|1664 N Virginia St, Reno, NV 89557
|Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, School of Dental Medicine
|110 Bergen St, Newark, NJ 07103
|Columbia University College of Dental Medicine
|622 W 168th St, New York, NY 10032
|NYU College of Dentistry
|345 E 24th St, New York, NY 10010
|Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine
|South Dr, Stony Brook, NY 11794
|Touro College of Dental Medicine at New York Medical College
|19 Skyline Dr, Hawthorne, NY 10532
|Buffalo School of Dental Medicine
|320 Hayes Rd, Buffalo, NY 14214
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry
|385 S Columbia St, Chapel Hill, NC 27599
|The Ohio State University College of Dentistry
|305 W 12th Ave, Columbus, OH 43210
|University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry
|1201 N Stonewall Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73117
|Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry
|Robertson Collaborative Life Sciences Building & Skourtes Tower, 2730 S Moody Ave, Portland, OR 97201
|University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine
|240 S 40th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
|Medical University of South Carolina James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine
|173 Ashley Ave, Charleston, SC 29425
|University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry
|875 Union Ave, Memphis, TN 38103
|Texas A&M College of Dentistry
|3302 Gaston Ave, Dallas, TX 75246
|Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine
|123 Rick Francis St, El Paso, TX 79905
|The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston
|7500 Cambridge St, Houston, TX 77054
|UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry
|7703 Floyd Curl Dr, San Antonio, TX 78229
|University of Utah School of Dentistry
|530 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108
|Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry
|520 N 12th St, Richmond, VA 23298
|University of Washington School of Dentistry
|1959 NE Pacific St B-307, Seattle, WA 98195
|West Virginia University School of Dentistry
|1 Medical Center Dr, Morgantown, WV 26505
|Marquette University School of Dentistry
|1801 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53233
The American Association for Dental Education publishes a state-by-state list of accredited programs. You can also enter CODA in search of free dental care centers. You can check this list to find a clinic near you. Below are three examples that illustrate the various ways each school interacts with the public.
2. Dental Scholarships
Dental scholarships cover all or part of expensive medical treatments. And while these scholarships can be life-changing, most options have a list of requirements you must meet.
Also, you may have to meet long wait times, which can last for months. Therefore, we recommend that you carefully read all the requirements to see if you are eligible. Here are some dental scholarship options.
Women who have survived domestic abuse can search the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. They have a program called Give Back a Smile , which pays for all dental repair costs for injuries.
To get free dental help for dental implants, you should consider a Cosmetic Dentistry scholarship. If you want to qualify, you must show that your mouth can support the requested implants through a dental examination.
3. Cheap and public dental clinics
The Health Resources and Services Administration provides access to a network of dental clinics to eligible individuals. Of course, this service has income restrictions and not all dental services may be offered in your location. However, this is a source that will allow you to find a cheap clinic near you.
On the other hand, in our content on how to find clinics near me we offer all the necessary information so that you can find cheaper medical services. Sure, it can be a bit tricky, but it's not impossible. Therefore, we have created an article to help you.
NeedyMeds is a national nonprofit organization that connects people with programs to help pay for their medications and other health-related costs. Its website includes a database of 4,096 clinics that offer reduced-price dental care using a sliding scale based on income .
Use the NeedyMeds database to find a clinic in your local area. This database contains more than 4,000 clinics, many of which are funded by state or federal grants. As a result, you will be able to get cheaper prices.
There are many charitable organizations that offer financial assistance to people in need. Many of these grants are intended to pay for braces or dental work that insurance does not cover. Next, we will show you some of the organizations that could give you a hand .
- Smiles Change Lives: Created in 1997, this organization offers financial assistance to young people in need. There are certain eligibility requirements you have to meet and the wait times are long, but it could be a way to get braces if you're under 21.
- Dental Lifeline Network: If you need a denture, this network could help you. The non-profit organization helps pay for dentures for the elderly, disabled or in need. The best thing is that they have clinics in all states and the services are comprehensive.
- United Way: This organization has hundreds of locations across the United States and around the world, many of which have free dental clinics. We recommend that you call your local office and see what programs are available near you.
6. Discount cards
Free dental discount cards are a good example of promotion. Families sign up to download or have a card mailed to their home (at no cost).
Now, although they are offered as "free", you will have to pay a monthly fee to activate the discount card and use it at a dentist in the promotion. On the other hand, on the plus side, many people get significant savings without a waiting period.
Discount cards harness the bargaining power of the large organization behind them to lower prices. In return, the company promises a greater flow of patients to the consultation. Each subscribed member benefits from trading fees, although you must pay a fee to use the card.
Thanks to the power of the internet, thousands of people have been able to raise financial assistance for unexpected dental costs. Crowdfunding means that you can receive support from your community in a time of need. Through this system, thousands of people have managed to raise money for dental work.
Many people do fundraisers , such as a barbecue or car wash party. This way, you can rally family and friends to support your cause. This provides you with a great opportunity to ask for donations in a more relaxed environment.
Other people have built a community around your fundraiser . If you know how to use social networks, you can take your message to many more people and you can get more money. Just remember to update all donors with any progress so they know their donation has made a positive impact.
Government Dental Aid
The federal government awards grants to universities, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations, not to individuals. Therefore, you will have to search very well if you need free dental help.
Keep in mind that you are more likely to get some form of financial help for your dental treatment in some cases. For example, if you belong to a group of people considered disadvantaged in some way or in a vulnerable situation.
Single mothers looking for dental grants can try to get them from programs that help low-income people. Single parents often live near the poverty level because the household has only one wage earner. Usually, the mother needs to reduce work hours to supervise her children.
Therefore, low-income single mothers often find financial support from the government in other areas , leaving some of their funds to pay for oral care.
- Medicaid pays for dental care in much of the country, as we discussed in the previous section.
- Housing assistance programs subsidize rental payments
- Food stamps reduce grocery costs
Veterans looking for free dental help, as an alternative, can take advantage of direct government support . Additionally, citizens appreciate the sacrifice of individuals who served in our armed forces: Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs provides low-cost oral care for a select group of former service members with different kinds of benefits:
- Service-connected disability
- former prisoner of war
- Service-connected aggravated medical condition
- Complication of medical problem currently under treatment
- Participated in vocational rehabilitation
- Homeless and receiving benefits
- Nonprofit organizations often help veterans with their oral care needs . Donors can support these entities, and licensed professionals can offer pro bono services.
- All for Veterans (E4V) supports servicemen and women (and their spouses) who have returned from combat zones and are experiencing financial difficulties.
Disabled adults and their guardians who are seeking free dental help can sometimes find other help in the form of government support . Meanwhile, charities often lend a hand to people with special needs.
- Social Security Disability Recipients (SSDI) qualify for two possible health programs that could reduce oral care costs.
- Medicaid pays for some dental work (see the previous section) and covers all SSI (Supplemental Security Income) recipients, and SSDI recipients for the first two years. You just have to find one of the dentists that accept Adult Medicaid.
- Medicare doesn't pay for dentistry (unless you're enrolled in an Advantage Plan – Part C) and covers people with SSDI after two years.
- Charities offer support for dental work to people with disabilities because they want to serve others in need.
- Dental Lifeline Network is a national, non-profit organization that provides access to treatment and education to people who cannot afford it and are permanently disabled or elderly (65 or older) or medically fragile.
Uninsured seniors looking for free dental help can take advantage of a government assistance program through a nursing home. Older people certified by their state can benefit from the Comprehensive Care Programs for the Third Age (PACE).
PACE helps senior citizens live in the safety of their community instead of in a nursing home. Eligible Medicare and Medicaid recipients can receive these support services at no additional cost. Here are some of the services that PACE covers:
- Adult supervision during the day
- dental emergency services
- prescription drugs
Recovering addicts seeking free dental help have fewer financial assistance alternatives . The mouth damaged by methamphetamine and other oral diseases caused by drug use is a health problem that must be addressed. However, organizations, clinics, doctors and students have less sympathy for people with self-inflicted diseases such as those derived from drug use.
Probably, increased awareness of the opioid epidemic could bring about changes in the future.
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a government agency within the US Department of Health and Human Services. This agency publishes a list of grant awards that allows recovering addicts to identify programs venues that received awards. However, most of this funding goes to substance abuse prevention and treatment.
- Regional charities are beginning to provide oral care support to former drug users. For example, Wally's War Against Addiction restores the smiles of those affected in the Concord, New Hampshire area.
Alternatives to receive dental assistance
In general, most adults without dental insurance will have to turn to private companies to help pay for dental treatment. Most public and charitable financial assistance options (free care and grants) help very few people.
Financing is one of the options that adults without resources should turn to when they need to fix their damaged, chipped or broken teeth, before the problems worsen.
If you get a personal loan, the institution deposits the funds directly into your checking account. In some cases, dentists may offer services virtually free or at lower prices when they realize that the person has a limited ability to pay.
Always remember to shop around for the best deal, not just limiting yourself to doctors who offer "payment plans" or "in-house financing." The plans offered by these offices are not usually their own, they are usually contracted with a third company.
Reversing the process gives you more control. Therefore, look for financing first and then the treating doctor.
Credit cards for medical expenses
Credit cards may be an option if you have major dental expenses . Through them, you can obtain financing. This would give you enough time to pay for your own treatments. Therefore, we recommend that you find out about the best credit cards for medical expenses .
And although in the article at the link we provide you with all the information you need in this regard, we would like to highlight the Care Credit card . Through this option, you can receive financing at 0% interest for more than 12 months. During this time, you will be able to pay for all your treatment and they will not charge you an additional penny.
New coverage (dental insurance without waiting periods)
The dental insurance format with no waiting periods is likely to help make oral care more affordable for adults without current coverage. However, you should read the fine print before you sign up so you won't be surprised by “hidden costs” later .
Plans with no waiting periods often include provisions that limit their use during the first few policy periods.
- Graduated benefits limit amounts paid for major services
- Extractions of missing teeth means the plan will never cover replacement
Medical tourismMore and more people are traveling outside of the United States for medical procedures . After all, it is possible to get the same results while paying a fraction of the price. This practice is known as medical tourism, and it can save you money in the long run.
Certainly, the most recommendable thing is that you travel to your country . However, if you don't trust their results enough, other places where you could have a good treatment are Canada, UK, Colombia, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Germany, India, Israel, Singapore and others.
Dental servicesMany people without insurance and without financial resources seek free dental services. However, there are many practical limitations to this possible assistance.
Often times, professionals offer a single service at no charge or a complete treatment at a reduced cost. The patient must pay the rest, which means that she needs the financing or insurance, as stated above, to fix her decayed or broken teeth.
Odontologic consultationFinding a dentist who offers free consultations or exams is easy. Like a local auto repair shop that offers a multi-point inspection at no cost. They expect to find all kinds of problems that you will need to fix. It is a marketing tool.
Visits allow for a review of your health history and an oral exam to look for cavities, gum disease, cracked teeth, and other problems. Then, present a treatment plan along with a budget to carry out the work.
Dental cleaningFinding a nearby dental office that offers free cleanings is also usually easy . In addition to being a common marketing ploy, hygiene students often need to brush up on their trade with local residents in need of periodic prophylaxis.
- Dentists frequently send mailings to homes in their service area advertising free cleanings to bring new patients into the office. Check your mailbox or visit coupon sites online to find similar deals.
- Dental hygiene schools train students by offering prophylaxis at deep discounts. The American Dental Hygiene Association maintains a web-based database of programs worth investigating.
Dental emergencyPeople with limited resources can also seek free emergency dental care . Consider one of these three options when severe pain requires immediate treatment.
- Medicaid covers dental emergency for low-income households nationwide (see section below)
- Private health insurance pays for urgent oral care resulting from accidental injuries, and treatment resulting from a covered disease such as cancer.
- Hospital charity programs help the uninsured pay for emergency treatment after an accident to relieve pain or clear up an infection.
Dental implantsFree dental implant programs, which are often advertised, do not cover the entire cost of tooth replacement. Don't be fooled by clinics, schools, or websites promoting these jobs for free. Professionals and students can donate a portion of their time and services.
In reality, patients must cover significant costs. For example:
- Computed tomography (CT) scans measure the depth, width, and density of bones
- Extractions of remaining teeth that need to be replaced
- Oral surgery for bone grafting and body placement
- Third-party labs that make temporary crowns for the healing phase
- Outside labs create permanent abutments, bridges and dentures
Dental insurance that covers implantsInexpensive (basic) dental insurance policies do not usually cover the dental implant procedure . You will have to consult the coverage of cosmetic dental procedures, which covers a part of dental implants. Your insurance coverage for dental implants could be 50% of the cost, which means that your insurance covers half of the procedure.
Remember that your deductible, or the amount you pay for a service before insurance covers it, could apply depending on your other dental needs that year.
Your health insurance may also cover dental implant procedures , but that will vary depending on your policy. If you don't have dental insurance or current insurance coverage, you can look for a policy that covers dental implants or look for discounts on dental plans.
These are some of the dental insurances that cover implants:
- Cigna DHMO
- Anthem Essential Choice Platinum
- Renaissance Plan II
- United Healthcare Premier Plus
- Physician's Mutual Preferred Plus
- MetLife VADIP High Program
On the other hand, it is also possible to get dental insurance depending on the area in which you are. Here's a look at the best dental insurance in some of the most popular states in the country .
- New York
- New Jersey
When does insurance cover dental implants?
If you currently have dental and medical insurance, check your policies to see if they cover dental implants or cosmetic dental procedures. If your policy does cover implants, you should find out about the following:
Annual maximum: Insurance companies typically use a calendar year to measure their annual maximum. This represents the amount that an insurance plan will pay for the dental care you or your family receive in a year. If you approach or reach that annual maximum, you will be responsible for the entire cost of your treatment.
Pre-existing conditions: You will need to check your insurance pre-existing conditions to determine the availability of your coverage. If you were already missing a tooth before your effective date of coverage, your insurance may not cover it. They will consider it a pre-existing condition because you had it before you signed up with them.
How much do they charge to pull a tooth in the United States?
The cost of extracting a tooth varies greatly depending on whether the tooth is impacted. Simple extraction usually costs between $75 and $200 per tooth, and can be more depending on the type of anesthesia needed.
The cost of extracting impacted teeth is significantly higher and can range from $800 to $4,000. Where you live can also affect how much you pay for the procedure, as many services are tailored to the cost of living in each area.
How much does a dental filling cost in the United States?
Capping a tooth with a dental filling in the United States can cost anywhere from $50 to $4,500 depending on the type of dental filling used.
- Dental filling with silver amalgam: from $50 to $150
- Clear composite dental filling: from $90 to $250
- Dental filling with gold or porcelain: from $250 to $4,500
Dental clinic near me
Although many dental clinics have low cost, Hispanic dentists, it is not always possible to find them in all locations . What is possible is to get different specialties, such as orthodontics, children's dentists, maxillofacials, dentists, surgeons and dental offices.
Below we will show you a list of dental clinics near you . In the different points of the map you will find any of the specialties above so that you can get the corresponding dental treatment.
Free dentists near meBelow we show you a map where you can find free dentists near your location. BUT BEWARE! We cannot assure you that all the dentists that appear on the map are 100% free. Investigate on your own before visiting them.
Anas is an editor of a prestigious publishing company in the United States. She studied Mathematics in Arizona. Anas is also a teacher and one of her long-term goals is to build an institution that offers free education to everyone who are financially not stable. .