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How to Find Free or Low Cost Dental Care

Let’s face it, the economy stinks right now. Unemployment levels are the highest we’ve seen in years, people are losing their homes, and many people are forced to forgo important medical or dental procedures. In fact, nearly 100 million Americans are living without some form of dental insurance. For those 100 million Americans these tough times are especially painful. The staggering number of uninsured is particularly troubling in light of the news in recent years highlighting the probably connection between dental health and overall health.

However, a lack of dental insurance doesn’t mean you have to go without much needed dental care. In fact, dentists across the country have recognized this need and have organized free clinics to help the uninsured cope with high dental care costs. Below, I’ve compiled some tips for locating free or low cost dental care in your area.

My plan has paid for itself many times over in just ten months. I saved over $1,000 on cleanings, fillings and wisdom tooth extraction.

Tips for locating free or low cost dental care

  • Clinical TrialsThe National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research(NIDCR) periodically performs clinical trials targeting specific dental, oral, and craniofacial conditions. Researchers may provide study participants with limited free or low-cost dental treatment for the particular condition they are studying. For a complete listing of NIDCR clinical trials, please visit the clinicaltrials.gov website.

  • United Way – The United Way may be able to connect you to low cost or free dental care resources in your community. Call your local chapter for more information.

  • Dental Schools – While dental students are still learning their craft, you can take advantage of their low rates. Don’t worry, a skilled instructor will be watching their every move so you’ll be in good hands. For a listing of dental schools around the US, visit the ADA.org website.

  • State Dental Associations – Contact your state dental association for recommended free or low cost dental care resources. To contact your state dental association visit the ADA.org website.

  • U.S Department of Health & Human Services(HRSA) – The HRSA can help you locate a local federally-funded health center that offers reduced-fee dental care. At these centers you pay what you can afford. To locate a local health center enter your details into the HRSA search engine.

  • Medicaid Services – Most states provide limited emergency dental services for people age 21 or over, while some offer comprehensive services. For most individuals under the age of 21, dental services are provided under Medicaid(nidcr.nih.gov). Visit the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid website for more information.

Additional Resources to check out

A number of helpful websites maintain listings of available low cost and free dental care clinics around the US. I’ve listed some below for your reference.

Final Thoughts

If you are in need of free or low cost dental care services I hope you find these resources valuable. If you know of someone with such a need please pass along this post. If you are aware of additional resources that I haven’t listed above, please submit a comment and I’ll add it to the list.

Reader Comments

  1. Lisa Marie July 20th

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    Thank You for the advice. it’s been helpful. I have no job nor moola…Tired of scutios pain i’m endearing.


  2. Cory Kemp July 20th

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    Glad to help, Lisa. Please keep me posted if you’re able to find some free help. Thanks.


  3. Thornhill Dentist February 8th

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    Thanks for the info. There are many underpriviledged families struggling to afford proper dental care. This info will definitely be useful for many people.


  4. Newton dentists January 20th

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    The local health/community clinic is another option – typically free, though appointments may be lacking and service be on a first-come basis.


  5. Momstears November 29th

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    DISABLED, SINGLE PARENT, URGENTLY NEEDS DENTAL SERVICES. DENTI-CAL ENDED NO INSURANCE, DAILY PAIN, NEED MAJOR WORK. HEALTH IS AT RISK, AS INFECTION = SERIOUS COMPLICATIONS=DEATH! Any info would be appreciated!


  6. Jean December 6th

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    I’m from the Denver Region and I am Santa this year! I just answer letters…I received a letter from a mother who can’t afford dental care for her 5 year old son who has quite a bit of dental work that needs to be done. I will send her this site but is there anyone out there who could pass along information or know a dentist who is in the Denver Region who maybe could help?


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