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Where to Find Low-Cost Dental Care

State and Local Resources

The local or state health department in your area may know of programs that provide free and discounted dental care. Find local and state resources by:

  • Check our site to find low-cost dental clinics by state.
  • Calling the local or health state department to learn about any financial assistance programs they offer
  • Calling 2-1-1 to find local services for your area

Dental Schools/Dental Hygiene Schools

Dental schools will have clinics where dental students can gain experience with treating patients and providing low-cost care to them. The students are supervised by experienced and licensed professional dentists.

This kind of low-cost supervised care can be obtained through dental hygiene schools as a part of the dental hygienist training experience.

Community Health Centers

You might be able to get cheap dental care through a federally funded health center. These places charge you what you can reasonably afford based on your current income. They can be found in most cities and in several rural areas. Please visit the “Find a Health Center” section of the Health Resources and Services Administration website to find one near you.

Medicaid and CHIP

Medicaid is a state-run program that offers medical – and sometimes dental – benefits to eligible individuals and their families. Medicaid requires states to provide dental benefits to children, but individual states are able to choose whether these benefits are offered to adults or not. Most states offer only a limited dental service for adults, while other states will provide more extensive services.

  • Visit the Medicaid website and use the “Learn How to Apply for Coverage” link or contact the Medicaid program for your state
  • Visit Insure Kids Now or give them a call on 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1-877 543-7669) to find dental care for your children

CHIP is another state-run program. CHIP is for children whose families earn too much for Medicaid, but still don't earn enough for private insurance. CHIP is designed to offer children up to 19 years old with the dental services they need. The level of dental care offered by CHIP varies between states.

Medicare

Medicare is a federally funded health insurance program for people aged over 65 and people under 65 who have certain disabilities. Medicare will only cover any dental health conditions related to the specific medical conditions and treatments. It doesn't cover routine care such as checkups, fillings, cleanings, and dentures.

  • Learn more about Medicare with the Medicare Dental Services website or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). Be sure to have your Medicare number to hand when calling.

United Way

United Way might be able to connect you to free or discounted dental services for your community. Find your local United Way by visiting United Way and clicking on the “find Your United Way” link to the top right of the screen.

Clinical Trials

NIDCR occasionally looks for volunteers with specific oral, dental, or craniofacial conditions to take part in research studies known as clinical trials. Researchers occasionally provide the participants in the study with a limited range of free/discounted dental treatment for the condition being studied. Visit the NIDCR website and click the “Clinical Trials” link to learn more about clinical trials. To find and participate in clinical trials, please contact:

  • ClinicalTrials.Gov – a database of both private and government-funded clinical trials both in the United States and across the world.
  • NIH Clinical Research Studies – a database of clinical trials at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Call the NIH Clinical Center at 1-800-411-1222 to talk with someone about a clinical study

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