If you need free dentures or cosmetic dental work because you do not have the money to pay for this yourself, there is some help available from the dental community that provides this type of assistance to low-income patients. Sadly there is certainly not enough of this help available to serve every person out there that cannot afford to pay for their own dental care. And it is easy to understand how frustrating it can be to desperately need quality dental work and not be able to afford it. But if you have a severe dental situation and you need help with free dentures or other dental prosthetics, you may be able to find it from the sources provided here.
Be advised that most of the resources available to dental patients are offered to those with low-income. This help is mainly targeted to correct medically at-risk cases, to help the disabled and to assist seniors with quality dental care they cannot afford to provide for themselves. There is one major national program that provides care through volunteer dentists and dental labs on the local level. And other programs exist that work specifically with victims of domestic violence and those who have been involved in living organ donations. In addition to the few programs that provide free care, many schools of dentistry across the country offer clinics that work with patients in their area at highly reduced rates. So if you cannot locate free dental help, seeking care from a university clinic could make addressing your dental problem more financially feasible.
Dental Lifeline Network Donated Dental Services
The Dental Lifeline Network is just what it sounds like it is, a nationwide network of dentists and labs who volunteer free comprehensive dental treatment. It provides this help to those who lack proper income to pay for their own dental needs in three patient areas: seniors, permanently disabled and medically at-risk. This network contains over 15,000 dentists and 3,000 dental labs across the United States and steps in where Medicare and Medicaid do not cover essential dental services.
To apply for help, visit the state DDS programs page on the DLN website. Click on your state located on the map at the bottom of the page to find contact information for your state program coordinator. Each state listing provides email and phone for the point of contact for the program in your area and shows the overall amount of donated services and number of patients helped in the previous year inside each state. Availability of the program depends on the number of dentists enrolled in the volunteer program and coverage is far from consistent in all areas.
Domestic Violence Give Back a Smile Program
Offered by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, this professional dental organization provides free restorative work to those who have had their teeth damaged through criminal domestic violence. This program is open to any domestic violence victim, male or female, whose dental injuries were sustained by a partner or spouse and who are now out of the abusive relationship for at least one year. The program does not pay for dental repair caused by neglect or pay to fix dental injuries not sustained by domestic violence.
The application process to receive help is fairly simple. You must first fill out a patient application. There is a one time $20 application fee but this can be waived if you complete 10 hours of community service prior to submitting your application. Applicants must conduct a local interview to confirm program eligibility and will then have an appointment with an AACD dentist scheduled in their area to perform the cosmetic work to restore their smile. For more information, call 800-773-4227 or use the Give Back a Smile contact form on the AACD website.
Mouthglove Free Dentures Program for Living Organ Donors or Recipients
If you have made or received a living organ donation for surgery such as a kidney transplant and are in need of free dentures, you most likely qualify to receive help from Mouthglove Dentures. This is not a program to help those that have merely agreed to donate organs following a fatal accident, but instead works with patients who have undergone lifesaving organ donation surgery and are in need of dentures. To apply, email Mouthglove at firstname.lastname@example.org. You must provide information about the organ transplant you participated with including hospital records of the operation and agree to allow Mouthglove to use your story in press releases concerning its free dentures program. Help is somewhat limited as Mouthglove only provides a single donation per month of an upper or lower set of dentures.
Dentistry School Clinics Offering Reduced Dental Care
If you find you do not qualify for the programs that provide free dental care, the next best thing could be seeking treatment at a university dental clinic. If normal care through a dentist office is impossible due to lack of dental insurance or you simply cannot afford it, many dental schools across the country operate clinics that see patients at highly reduced rates. These clinics operate under the supervision of school faculty and exist to give dental students and residents experience working with patients. High quality dental care is provided by students, residents and in some cases faculty themselves but treatment is offered in an instructional environment and can take longer to accomplish than by visiting a normal dentist office. Due to the research environment available at a school of dentistry, state of the art techniques are likely to be used on those seeking care at a university clinic. Here are a few examples of schools that offer low-cost dental clinics:
- Oregon Health and Science University
- UCLA School of Dentistry
- University of Michigan School of Dentistry
- University of Southern California Ostrow School of Dentistry
- University of Texas School of Dentistry
To find a school clinic near you, search our dental schools page. there you will find the colleges and universities in your state that offer programs for dentistry and see if they offer reduced cost dental care in your area.