11 Ways Seniors Can Receive Dental Care For Little To No Money

There’s not much that comes cheap when talking about health care, and dental care is no exception. Medicare is there to help you out with medical bills, but unfortunately dental is not included in most Medicare plans. This means seniors could be on the hook for any dental health expenses that they may incur. Considering that a single dental implant can cost up to $6,000, dental expenses can add up rather quickly.

Before you start shelling out your savings to cover these costs, take time to explore some of the options below. We’ve compiled 11 ways that seniors can receive dental care for little to no money.

Dental Schools

Across the U.S. dentistry students are training to become practicing dentists. If you need to have some work done, there is likely a school near you that would be happy to bring you in and offer you a discount on your procedure so that students can get hands on experience. All of the procedures are overseen by a dental professional so you can rest assured that you are getting quality treatment when visiting a dental school.

Your appointment may take longer than usual, and you’ll likely have multiple sets of eyes peering into your mouth, but if this doesn’t bother you then visiting a dental school can be a great option. Plus, you’ll be helping to train the bright American dentists of tomorrow.

Veterans Affairs

If you served with the armed forces, you may be eligible to receive partial or complete dental coverage through Veterans Affairs dental care benefits. The type of coverage you can receive varies depending on your situation. You can visit their website to find out what benefits you might be eligible to receive. Applying for benefits can be done online, over the phone, or at your local Veterans Service Organization.

If you do not qualify for any of the benefits, you may still be eligible to receive dental insurance at a reduced rate. More information about how to apply can be found on their website.

Give Back a Smile

If you have been the victim of domestic or sexual abuse that has left you with a dental injury, Give Back a Smile can help you get back your smile. Any sustained injuries generally must have happened at least one year ago, and you must be living away from the person who assaulted you.

There is a $20 fee to apply for the service, but this can be waived if you volunteer your time at a charity of your choice for 10 hours.

Dental Lifeline Network

The Dental Lifeline Network is a charity organization that provides care to individuals who have a permanent disability, are 65 years of age or older, or who are medically fragile. Their network of dentists are volunteering their time, and the laboratories they use are volunteered as well.

Their dental services are aimed at people who cannot afford necessary treatment and cannot get public aid. To date, their donated dental services have surpassed $493 million in dental therapies and over 165,000 people assisted.

TeethWisdom.org

Teeth Wisdom is a website dedicated to the oral health of seniors. They offer updated and reliable information on a variety of oral health concerns affecting seniors. There is a wealth of information on this website that can inform you about potential remedies for your ailments without the need for visiting a dentist.

If you do need professional medical help, they can direct you to a low-cost dentist in your area.

Dial 2-1-1

Dialing 2-1-1 on your phone will connect you with an expert representative who can help you with a variety of concerns. One of the most prominent services they offer is providing you will valuable health care resources in your area. This extends to dental care as well.

The are supported by the United Way and have resources at their disposal to help you with your dental health needs and more. All calls to 211 are completely confidential and can be anonymous. The 211 network in the USA responds to over 20 million requests each year.

Health Resources and Services Administration

The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) has an abundance of health care programs and grants that service people who are geographically isolated or economically/medically vulnerable. You may be eligible to receive any number of their grants towards your dental health.

The HRSA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and they have a $12 billion budget that provides primary health care to nearly 30 million people. If you are uninsured and have a pressing oral health need, the HRSA will likely be able to give you some assistance.

The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics

The NAFC’s mission is to ensure that the medically underserved have access to affordable quality health care. There are roughly 1,400 Free and Charitable Clinics and Charitable Pharmacies in the United States serving Americans that have been marginalized by the health care system. Their clinics serve on average 2 million people annually.

The NAFC serves a wide range of health care needs, and dental care is among them. You can find a clinic near you and contact them to see if you are eligible to receive their services.

Mission of Mercy

Mission of Mercy is a nonprofit faith-based organization that receives no funding from the federal government. As such, they are able to provide free services without asking people to prove their residency or financial standing. Mission of Mercy only has clinics operating in four states: Arizona, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Texas. You don’t have to be a resident of one of these states to receive care, but you would have to make the trip to one of their clinics.

While they offer a comprehensive list of medical care, it should be noted that the Arizona locations do not offer dental care.

Dental Savings Plans

Dental savings plans, or dental discount plans, are a flexible, affordable alternative to traditional dental insurance. DentalPlans.com is one of the leading providers of dental savings plans offering members 10-60% savings on their dental expenses.

Instead of paying monthly insurance and then paying a deductible when you need to use your insurance, with dental savings plans you just pay a one-time annual fee and are given access to nationwide dental discounts. Once you become a member, visit a participating dentist, show them your membership card, and enjoy your savings with your all-new smile.

Conclusion

Dental insurance can be very expensive. Paying for dental procedures without insurance can be even more expensive. While Medicare covers a large portion of health care costs for seniors, these plans do not include dental health. Thankfully, there are a multitude of options to receive dental care at little or no cost if you are a senior in the United States.

We compiled a comprehensive list of options for free and discounted dental services in America. Don’t let the financial side of health care get in the way of the confidence and happiness that a beautiful smile can bring. Explore one or several of the options listed above and get back to enjoying your life without damaging your wallet.

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Rhiannon Ball

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