Did you know that free dental care is available for people in need of dental treatment services who cannot afford the cost of dental work out of their own pocket? Finding an affordable dentist when you have no money, no credit cards and no dental insurance to help pay for treatment can be very difficult for low income families, the elderly and disabled members of society.
Add to that the list of men and women who have lost their jobs and insurance due to the current economic recession or are experiencing serious health problems, you can probably imagine how difficult it is for individuals, families and children to get much needed dental work done.
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), more than 131 million children and adults in the U.S. do not have dental health insurance. Even though the NIDCR does not offer financial assistance for those needing dental care, they do seek volunteers to participate in clinical trials specific to dental, oral or craniofacial condition. Fortunately, these individuals may qualify for free dental care or low cost treatment from one or more programs offered by public and private organizations.
What do you do when you need to go to the dentist, but don’t have an affordable dental plan or the financial means to seek treatment? There are low cost dental care programs, dental grants and free dental clinics in the U.S. that help people get dental checkups and treatments in regular intervals for free, as well as caring for dental emergencies that can happen without warning for little or no cost.
Many health departments and social service agencies provide free dental treatment by qualified dentists and dental specialists, who volunteer their time and services for free to patients who are unable to pay for treatment. If you are wondering how you can get free dental care services or are needing information on grants for dental work, discount dental plans or low cost dental care, consider the following resources:
Free Dental Care Clinics
Local universities, teaching hospitals, dental schools and hygiene schools throughout the United States provide dental care under the supervision of a Senior Dentist or Dental Professor, usually providing services on a sliding scale, “low cost” or reduced-fee basis. Visit the American Dental Association (ADA) website at www.ada.org for a complete list of dental schools, and the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) website at www.adha.org to locate dental hygiene schools in your area.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources (www.hhs.gov) “families” category provides information on qualifying for Medicare and Medicaid services, and details on the Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) AKA “CHIP” dental coverage up to the age of 19.
Dentistry From The Heart (www.dentistryfromtheheart.org) is a registered non-profit organization dedicated to providing free dental care to those who need it. Every year, individual dentists and practices across the country donate their time and resources to host their own DFTH events. Free dental events listed by DFTH for 2009-2010 include the states of Michigan, Colorado, South Carolina, Idaho, Washington, Connecticut, Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Nevada, California, Arizona, Louisiana, Florida, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
Mission of Mercy dental clinic (www.amissionofmercy.org) is an independent nonprofit community-based organization providing free healthcare, free dental care and free prescription medications to the uninsured, underinsured and those who “fall through the cracks” of our healthcare system. Mission of Mercy (M.O.M) receives no government funding whatsoever, so healthcare and dental treatments are provided without prequalification requirements such as verifying proof of income or residency. Mission of Mercy clinics provide more than 25,000 free patient visits per year, with clinics located in Arizona, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Texas.
Free Medical Clinics (www.freemedicalcamps.com) provides free or almost free medical and dental care anywhere in the U.S. Some locations are only for low-income people and some only serve local community residents. Free Medical Clinics has a large, extensive dental directory, with locations in every state. You will find a list of several dentists in your area who will provide dental care for free or for a very cheap price, perhaps as little as twenty dollars.
The National Foundation of Dentistry (www.nfdh.org) has a program where dentists provide for the essential and comprehensive dental care needs of our nation’s most vulnerable people; disabled, elderly or medically-compromised individuals who cannot afford necessary treatment nor get public aid. A program coordinator is available in each state and is responsible for determining patient eligibility as being disabled, elderly or medically compromised and have no other way for paying for dental care.
Operation Blessing International (www.ob.org) is a Christian organization whose mission is to meet the needs of people everywhere. Operation Blessing has free dental missions all over the U.S. Operation Blessing offers free medical, dental, optical and surgical services for those who cannot access or afford healthcare. They have a 20-chair mobile hospital where you can take your entire family to the dentist. Operation Blessing’s dental clinics use dentists who have chosen to volunteer their time in service to others.
For those who do not qualify for free, no cost dental care, patients pay a fraction of the dentist’s typical fees, which is approximately one-tenth the normal rate. Free dental clinics can often have a lengthy waiting period for patients hoping to get dental work completed quickly, as dentists in private practice do not want to participate in dental services for Medicaid patients due to the extremely low reimbursement rates.
What about dental grants? Are there any available grants for dental care? A dental grant is just a fancy way of saying dental insurance, discount dental plans and similar terms to get you all excited about the possibility that there really are “free dental grants” for dental patients. If you’re finding information online on low cost dental grants or claims of “free dental grants” for the whole family – it’s nothing but a personal dental insurance plan that you have pay monthly premiums on (albeit cheap insurance premiums) like any other kind of dental insurance.