10 Free and Low Cost Dental Care Options for Seniors

Chris Hawkins Written by Chris Hawkins
SeniorLiving.Org Expert on Senior Care & Assisted Living

If you read our article, "The Importance of Senior Dental Care", you’ll know how important good oral health is to your overall quality of life. You’ll be able to chew food properly and without pain. You’ll taste what you’re chewing. You’ll reduce the likelihood of developing other health issues. And you’ll save money in the long run.

But access to regular dental care is often difficult for seniors. Medicare doesn’t cover it. Medicaid coverage is limited. Out-of-pocket expenses can be prohibitive to those on a fixed income.

Fortunately, there are organizations that can help. Here are 10 free or low cost dental care options for seniors:

1) The first place you should start is the toothwisdom.org, a site dedicated to health resources for older adults. Click on your state here and you’ll find a list of excellent resources.

The site is run by Oral Health America (OHA), “a national nonprofit based in Chicago that is dedicated to changing lives by connecting communities with resources to increase access to care, education, and advocacy for all Americans, especially those most vulnerable.”

2) With Eldercare Locator, a service of the Administration on Aging, you can search by state or by service (health, transportation, legal, etc.). Speak with an information specialist: 1-800-677-1116.

3) 2-1-1 Information and Referral Search is sponsored by the United Way and can connect you to services in your area. Simply dial 211.

4) PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) is a Medicare and Medicaid program that “helps people meet their health care needs in the community…” This healthcare can include dentistry.

5) The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) supports federally-funded health centers for those with no insurance or limited income. Many offer sliding scale (based on what you can afford) payments. Visit the site or call 1–888–275–4772.

6) The Dental Lifeline Network (formerly the National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped) provides “access to comprehensive dental services for people with disabilities or who are elderly or medically at-risk.” Call 1-888-471-6334.

7) The non-profit Dentistry From The Heart (DFTH) provides “free dental care to those in need.” Volunteer dentists and hygienists donate their time for events around the country. Find events here.

8) Check out www.Freemedicalcamps.com to locate free or inexpensive dental care.

9) Dental schools are an option for good low-cost care as many have clinics where students get experience working on patients. The ADA’s website has a listing of schools by state. Also try dental hygiene schools for preventative care.

10) The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics is a non-profit that seeks to “broaden access to affordable health care for the medically underserved.” You can search for free care from their homepage.

 


Updated: Oct 30, 2013

Comments

[7] Comments... Read them below.
kathleen matkins On Oct 12, 2014
I have been eating in pain for quite sometime now my upper partial is broken in half and the teeth to hold the partial in place sre bing loose my teeth are very misaligned so a lot of yhe time I accidently bite a whole in my gums while trying to eat I have another tooth that is infected going clear up to the nerve in my face have not been able to get help anywhere another molar broke off tthere are just pieces left going back down into my gums thanks for this page I hope I can find help

Lana Long On Sep 25, 2014
I have been on thisputer for hours and still do not have any alternative to affordable dental care. Every number I call says they offer no special senior care and very little, if any discounts for dental care. Why is this so hard to navigate. In a large city like Fayetteville, NC, there has to be at least one dentist who would do this for a needy senior and yet all I call could care less. That also includes AARP. I am a member of AARP and have yet to get any benefit from them. Aren't they the ones we are suppose to turn to for help? I guess not. I simply have a bonding which has cracked and broken for the fourth time which was done by the same dentist whom I paid. Now not only is it broken - but it appears there are tiny cavities under the bonding. How does that happen when a certified dentist did the work. Can't go back there for that reason and for money reasons. I don't believe there is any real help for seniors - not really. It's not that I haven't tried and made mega calls - just not help. Thanks for trying though..

Brent Kandarian On Jul 23, 2014
Because we all know that dental issues can be very expensive, and invasive surgeries for Denture issues are expensive and troublesome, we have developed a low cost loose denture alternative. Check out StabilDent for more information.

Karen E. Tracy On Jul 12, 2014
You are doing GOD's work...You came to fulfill your purpose...Thank you...

Joe On Jun 14, 2014
Great site! I am a 67 senior with no dental insurance. Hope I can find a dentist who can help me.

harold dobbins On Jun 9, 2014
i am a low ie homeless senior i would like help locate an affordble apt in the city of irvine or huntington beach

Stan Keller On May 14, 2014
We're in the process of checking out the various resources available to us, but without this website, it would have been much harder to find the information.



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