How to Get Free Dental Care

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Knowing about free dental care options will help keep you out of debt.
Knowing about free dental care options will help keep you out of debt. (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

For cash strapped families, dental care can eat up a substantial portion of the household income, and many families forgo dental care in favor of more pressing dental concerns. Fortunately, there are a number of choices for patients looking to get free dental care, if you know where to look. Many of the free dental care options are community health centers that are set up to help families in need, but several options will ensure that you receive free dental care when you need it.

Free Dental Health Clinics

Several websites, such as 1dentalcare.com, are designed to help you track down free dental care options near you. Enter your postal code and a list of free options will appear. Research the provider and select an option that meets your needs. Many of the clinics will require an appointment in advance, but some will see clients who walk in off the street. Check with the clinic directly to ensure that they are offering free dental care. Unfortunately, many of these clinics are overburdened, and you may need to wait several hours.

Government Assistance

The level of government assistance varies depending on the state, but some programs are available throughout the United States. Medicaid offers free dental care funding for families that qualify. Visit the Medicaid website for a list of Medicaid offices arranged by state. Call these offices to find out if you qualify for funding. Even if you fail to qualify for Medicaid funding, they can point you in the direction of more appropriate options. Many of these programs are tailored to children.

Dental Schools

Try local dental schools. Dental students need to practice with real patients, and the American Dental Association has a list of options arranged by state. These schools offer highly discounted, and sometimes free, dental care to patients. These students are only allowed to deal with patients when they are sufficiently well trained and are overseen by a professional, so there is no reason to be concerned about the dentist's qualifications. Contact dental schools directly to find out if they offer free dental care.

Dental Insurance

Dental insurance costs money, but like medical insurance, many jobs provide free dental insurance to their employees. If medical care isn't urgent, try finding a job that includes free dental insurance as one of its benefits. Many of these plans extend to the employee's family as well. However, ensure that your dental plan includes the care you need, as coverage can differ wildly from plan to plan.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't neglect your dental health

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