Free Grants for Dental Care

Just say “dentist” to someone and you will most likely elicit a pained expression or a few choice expletives; and although it will be more because of what happens in the dental chair, for some it will be because of the costs involved with going to the dentist. So, if you’ve been putting off your dental care due to finances, there’s good news for you. There are many options available. There are government grants for dental care, state and local programs, and private funding sources.

Federal Grants. One program is Federal program 63.011 which provides dental services for Veterans. Veterans must meet certain enlistment dates and other requirements to qualify. These free grants for dental care extend from basic to more involved dentistry.

Dental Clinics. There are a number of clinics available for low-income families that do not have dental insurance. Some are funded through donations and operated by volunteers. Others are run by local universities, teaching hospitals, dental schools and hygiene schools. Still others are operated by local governments.

Organizations. There are a number of organizations that aid those that need it. For example:
o    Dentistry From The Heart (www.dentistryfromtheheart.org)
o    Free Medical Clinics (www.freemedicalcamps.com)
o    Mission of Mercy Dental Clinic (www.amissionofmercy.org)

Dental Offices. Most dental offices incorporate a sliding fee schedule for some of their patients and provide a certain amount of pro-bono services each year.

Discount Dental Coverage. A number of insurance companies offer low cost dental coverage that will cover a variety of dental procedures. One site, http://www.dentalplans.com/, lists a number of plans and also lets you search for a dentist and see what plans are accepted by that office. Some dental insurance plans can run less than $100 per year for individuals and under $200 for family coverage, and cover anywhere from 10% to 70% of dental visits. Others provide full coverage, with or without co-pays, or pay a set amount per procedure.

One of the most important things to remember when it comes to dental care is that preventative care such as routine cleanings is your best defense against costly and often painful dental care down the line. With the plethora of options available for free or low cost dental care, there is no reason to let finances keep you from good oral health. As far as getting past the fear of the dental drill, that one’s up to you!

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