With the financially invasive cost of dental care, many Americans have to pay 100% out-of-pocket for dental services. So, it is more important than ever to have information for free dental insurance or services. Here are some free dental options to consider. For starters consider hospital emergency rooms believe it or not.
Typically, many individuals ignore dental discomfort for a longer period of time than they should. That same discomfort then turns into pain and a dental emergency. A hospital emergency room is a viable means of getting immediate help for an emergency dental need. If a medical doctor in the ER assesses what appears to you to be an emergency dental issue and feels you can wait several days to explore dental service options, they can at least prescribe antibiotics that will alleviate any pain and swelling due to an infection.
Tooth Removal in the ER
Some ER medical professionals may feel comfortable with removing an aching tooth right there if they are trained in dentistry as well. Usually, their main concern is to treat the symptoms of the dental issue as opposed to the cause, so an ER is a possible option in an emergency until you can research where you can go to receive proper ree dental care. Ask if the doctor that treats you can give you a referral for dental treatment since this will help with eligibility for Medicaid for free dental insurance.
Community Dental Clinics
Every state in the U.S. has several dental clinics available either free of charge to its patients or at a very low cost based on income. Most of these types of dental clinics are in urban areas.
The American Dental Association (AMA) has the most up-to-date information on community dental clinics for free dental care.
The AMA map of free dental clinics in the U.S. also includes specific dental care programs and organizations that can help you with accessing short or long-term care from a local dental clinic or even a specific dentist.
Dental School Programs
For anyone with dental issues that will need ongoing care, going to a dental school is a great alternative. Some schools give completely free care while others may offer preventive care as free and more extensive dental work at a very low cost. There are other benefits to visiting a dental school like helping dental students to train to become professionally licensed dentists. They are also working on patients under professional dental supervision, so you still have the benefit of sound advice about your dental health.
Dental Care Organizations
Several non-profit organizations offer a variety of services to those in need who cannot afford to buy medical insurance including free dental care.
The United Way works with dozens of charities within the network of their organization. One branch of the United Way that specifically helps with medical advice and care is the Prevention Institute. This part of United Way helps by creating long-term strategies in communities around the U.S. for preventive care. Volunteers of medical professionals make up the Preventive Institute and work in their local areas to set up free clinics on a monthly basis for people to visit either one time or for multiple visits for as long as it takes to complete the process of care.
Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA)
- The HRSA is considered the best resource for anyone uninsured needing free dental care, medical care or both. This is usually a very good place to begin if you need dental care as soon as possible but are not in an emergency situation yet.
- The HRSA can direct a patient to a health center in their local area that includes dental and all medical services that may be needed including pharmacy services. They also have access to translators on site if they are needed.
You can find more information about the HRSA services at https://www.hrsa.gov/index.html
Dentistry From the Heart (DFTH)
The DFTH is based in Florida but is a global organization that works to coordinate free dental care programs or events where dentists and dental hygienists volunteer their time to patients who need free dental care. Over the past 16 years, DFTH has created hundreds of free dental care events and services thousands of patients either one time or through a dental care process to ensure that their individual dental health does not affect their overall health.
Mission of Mercy
For 23 years, this organization has helped those in need with free dental and medical care as well as free prescribed medication. They are a non-profit that also does not receive any government funds. This helps patients because the Mission of Mercy is not under any obligations to the federal government to pre-qualify any applicants to their program which includes being able to help in-U.S.residents.
Dental Care through Medical Studies
Through the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), which is part of the National Institutes of Health, many researchers are in need of volunteers that have dental or craniofacial issues and are willing to be a part of a study. These are known as clinical trials and volunteers are given free dental care in most of these trials so that researchers can study the condition that they suffer from.
Whenever you hear the words, “Free,” you question the validity of it. You feel skeptical like it might be too good to be true, but you do have cases where you can get free or low-cost dental care. Proper care for your teeth can add up. But if you have the right setup, you won’t have to exchange a dime with the dentist. For those on a lower income, you can get quality care.
Free or Affordable Clinics
You should understand how every state offers free or low-cost dental work. It doesn’t matter; you can find a location where it won’t cost you a small fortune to receive care. Normally, you will find these locations inside some of the bigger cities. If you’d like to know where to go, you can speak with a local hospital about where you can go to get free care. These are known as community clinics. Another way that you can find one is through visiting the AMA website where you will get some of the most updated information on this.
Go to the Mission of Mercy
Having a proven track record of over 23 years, Mission of Mercy can provide workers with the teeth that amount to nothing. This non-profit organization doesn’t even receive government funding. Which means that they do this work on their own. Because they don’t receive government funding, Mission of Mercy has no obligation to qualify people for the care. This includes helping people who aren’t originally from the United States.
Receiving Help through Clinical Studies
Another one of the interesting ways that you can receive help is through agreeing to do a clinical study. Anyone with tooth problems or craniofacial problems could receive care that amounts to nothing, or it comes at a low cost. Under most circumstances, you receive free care while researchers learn a little more so that they can improve their methods. Everyone wins.
Organizations That Provide Help
You have several different organizations that are willing to provide help at a low price or nothing at all. Some of these organizations include:
- Dentistry from the Heart
- The United Way
- The Health Resources and Services Administration
If one organization denies you care, you can simply visit a different one. The prerequisites for each will differ in each case. The good news is that this community understands how not everyone will have the money to buy this type of care. Which is why you can find it available at the price of nothing.
Getting a Discount Plan
Let’s say that you don’t qualify for care, but you do qualify for a discount plan. These types of plans will take care of specific procedures, and they will take off a percentage of the price. Signing up won’t involve paperwork, annual limits or health restrictions. What you have to understand with these plans is that they don’t classify as insurance. What happens is that you pay for the membership. This gives you access to discounts on the care. You can get discounts anywhere from 20 percent to 60 percent. But it depends on the organization that you have enrolled with.
Emergency Dental Care?
Some examples of care in an emergency include:
- A toothache
- Swollen gums
- Missing tooth
Unfortunately, in many cases, the dentist won’t cover an emergency visit unless you have insurance. You can expect the price for an emergency visit to range anywhere from $750 on up to much higher figures when you live in the city. You can’t allow yourself not to get treatment. However, because if you leave it untreated, a tooth infection can cause serious illness or even death. If it’s an emergency, you have to do what you have to do to take care of the problem. You don’t want to wait too long.
Help for Veterans
Maybe you have served in the United States military. If so, you could qualify for reduced care or care without a price. You can apply through the online platform to learn more. To get it for nothing, you will have to apply inside of a 180 after discharge. The active duty will have had to have lasted for 90 days or longer.
Getting care at a low price or for nothing takes a little research. However, if you live on a fixed or low income, you shouldn’t have too much problem when it comes to getting this type of care. Receiving the care that you need only takes a little bit of research. Some people may not believe that you can get quality care at no cost, but it is possible with a couple of the organizations listed.