Not all employers offer dental benefits. If you’re struggling to find affordable dental care, here are some places to start.
Ask Your Dentist
Some dental offices have established dental membership savings plans. Typically, these plans charge you a fixed dollar amount on an annual basis and cover certain procedures at no additional charge (for example, cleanings and exams). After that, other procedures are discounted. Ask your dentist if he or she offers such a plan.
Many dentists also give back to their communities and offer free or low-cost days of care. Keep an eye out in your local news or use our Find-A-Dentist tool to reach out to dentists in your area.
Affordable Care Act Marketplaces
In addition to offering traditional health insurance plans, the Affordable Care Act insurance marketplaces are required to offer dental coverage for children. States may also offer dental coverage for adults. Check out “Choosing a dental plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)” for more information on buying coverage through the ACA marketplaces. Visit Healthcare.gov to learn more about all of the plans offered under the ACA.
Federally Qualified Health Centers
Most Federally Qualified Health Centers provide comprehensive primary dental health care for its patients. Those individuals/families with incomes 200% or lower than the federal poverty level ($49,200 or less for a family of four) are eligible for a sliding fee discount depending upon the size of your family and your income. You can find a health center near you at https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/.
The Local Dental School
Another source of lower-cost dental care is a dental school clinic. Generally, dental procedure fees in school clinics are reduced and may only include charges to cover the cost of materials and equipment.
From Your State
Assistance programs vary from state to state. Find your state on this list and contact your state dental society to find care in your area.
If you're having trouble affording dental care, there are a number of organizations that can help.
Oral Health America is a nonprofit organization that focuses on oral health education for seniors and helps them find affordable dental care. If you’re 60 or older (or you’re the caregiver for someone who is), you can find a list of dental care resources in your area at ToothWisdom.org.
Dental Lifeline Network is a nonprofit organization that helps provide access to care for seniors age 65 and older, have a permanent disability or are medically fragile. Visit DentalLifeline.org for more information and to find a program in your area.
Missions of Mercy events provide free dental care to thousands of patients around the country. These events are a service of the America's Dentists Care Foundation. Visit adfcmom.org to learn more and find Missions of Mercy events in your area.
Government Programs for Children
Many children in this country qualify for Medicaid coverage. In addition, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides free or low-cost health coverage for more than 7 million children up to age 19. CHIP covers U.S. citizens and eligible immigrants. To find dentists in your state who participate in CHIP and Medicaid, visit the Insure Kids Now website or call the Insure Kids Now hotline at 1.877.KIDS.NOW.