Places to Look for Affordable Dental Care - Dental Benefits | MouthHealthy - Oral Health Information from the ADA

7 ways to find free or low-cost dental care

Closeup of tray of dental instruments

Dental care costs can add up quickly, especially for families. If you don’t have access to dental benefits through your employer, you may find it difficult to pay for the dental services you need. Here are 7 ways to find affordable dental benefits and services for children or adults.

1. Ask your dentist

Some dental offices have dental membership savings plans. Typically, these plans charge you a fixed dollar amount each year for specific services such as cleanings and exams. Other services may be offered at discounted rates.

Many dentists also give back to their communities by offering free or low-cost care on certain days. If you don’t have a dentist right now, use our Find-A-Dentist tool to connect with dentists in your zip code.

2. The Health Insurance Marketplace

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created an open marketplace where people and families can purchase dental benefit plans. All insurers who take part are required to offer dental coverage for children under age 18. In many states, insurers also offer dental plans for adults. Here’s a closer look at plans offered through the marketplace and how to enroll.

3. Federally Qualified Health Centers

A Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) can provide dental services for you or your family, regardless of your ability to pay. Services are offered on a sliding scale based on your income. Many people living in rural areas, or other communities where dental services are hard to find, depend on FQHCs for regular dental care. Use this search tool to find the FQHC closest to you.

4. Your local dental school

Dental schools have clinics that may offer dental services at reduced rates. Many clinics limit what they charge to the cost of materials and equipment used, which can mean real savings for you. Browse this state-by-state directory to find a dental school near you.

5. Nonprofit organizations focused on dental health

Dental Lifeline Network provides comprehensive dental care for adults with special needs. If you are over 65 years old, have a permanent disability or a chronic serious illness, you may qualify for dental services provided by volunteer dentists and labs across the U.S.

The America’s Dentists Care Foundation helps people find dental care at reduced costs. Services are delivered through local events sponsored and organized by Mission of Mercy and other nonprofit state and local organizations. Browse this directory to find an event near you.

6. Government programs for children

Millions of children and teens qualify for free or low-cost dental benefits through Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Children in a family of four earning up to $50,000 a year or more may qualify. Families and individuals can apply online, by phone, by mail or in person. Learn more about Medicaid and CHIP benefits through the Insure Kids Now website.

7. Give Kids A Smile®

Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) offers free dental health education, screenings, preventive care and treatment provided by volunteer dentists and dental professionals. Services are provided at GKAS events in local communities. Call 1.844.490.4527 to learn more about GKAS events near you.