Are you looking for free or low-cost dental care? You're not alone. Many people struggle to afford the cost of dental care, but there are a variety of resources available to help. In this article, we'll explore the different options for free or reduced-cost dental care, including local health departments, health insurance programs, dental schools, clinical trials, and state and local resources. The NYC Health Community Health Center offers a variety of services, including root canals, cleanings, wisdom tooth extraction, dentures, fillings, extractions, and even free toothbrushes or night guards for hygiene.
Your state or local health department may also know about programs in your area that offer free or reduced-cost dental care. Call your local or state health department for more information about their financial assistance programs. Check your local phone book for the number you should call. You can also find low-cost dental treatments near you on the NYC Health Map.
Each state is required to develop a dental periodicity program in consultation with recognized dental organizations involved in child health care. Dental services should be provided at intervals that meet reasonable standards of dental practice, and at other intervals as indicated by medical need to determine the existence of a suspected disease or condition. Schools of dental hygiene (American Association of Dental Hygienists) can also offer low-cost, supervised preventive dental care as part of the training experience for dental hygienists. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is committed to improving access to dental and oral health services for children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. SOHAP can be submitted using an oral health action plan template developed by CMS or an easy-to-use template developed by the Medicaid State Dental Association-CHIP.
While most states offer at least emergency dental services for adults, less than half of the states currently offer comprehensive dental care. Medicaid covers dental services for all enrolled children as part of a comprehensive set of benefits called the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit. States should consult with recognized dental organizations involved in child health care to establish these intervals. The reference dental package must be substantially the same as (the most popular dependent dental plan for federal employees), (the most popular plan selected for dependents in the state's employee dental plan) or (dental coverage) offered through the state's most popular commercial insurer. The Office of Primary Health Care, a service of the Health Resources and Services Administration (1-888-ASK-HRSA), supports federally funded community health centers across the country that offer free or reduced-cost health services, including dental care. States must also publish a list of all participating Medicaid and CHIP dental providers and benefit packages on InsureKidsNow. Of course, the ideal would be to have regular dental check-ups and receive treatment every time an oral problem arises.
However, if you're unable to afford regular visits to the dentist, there are still options available to help you get the care you need.