Which are the top low cost and free dental care services for seniors?
As senior - Is it important to have a healthy oral hygiene and dental care in order to have good health? Medical experts say that it would prove very difficult to be in great shape if you don’t take care of your oral hygiene and dental care, in other words – you should consider your mouth as a “gateway to health”. More recent studies have shown that dental health especialy for seniors and the overall body health are interconnected in a way so close than it has previously been believed.
If you have read one of our articles on health, “The Importance of Senior Dental Care”, you should know just how important dental health is to your quality of life as a senior. With good dental and oral health, you will be able to chew food properly and without pain, as well as actually taste what you’re eating. Good oral health also reduces the risk of developing some other health issues which, in the long run – will save you more money down the road ahead.
The importance of dental health for seniors is all that more important. As you get older, your body becomes more susceptible to diseases and other factors that have negative impact on your health. Regular dental check-ups and prompt health treatment whenever some oral health issues come up would be the ideal course of action. However, access to regular dental care can often be difficult for seniors due to their age and lowered mobility. Medicaid doesn’t cover dental care and the Medicaid coverage is fairly limited. Fixed income can be taxing on your out-of-pocket expenses.
There are, however, organizations that can help you with this. We will offer you with a list of:
10 free / low cost dental care options for senior citizens
- Your first go-to place should be toothwisdom.org, which is a website that is dedicated to health resources for seniors. There is a plethora of websites on the site, as well as a health care locator tool which can direct you to the place where you can find low cost dental care in your nearby area. Just choose your state there and you will surely find a list of great resources at your disposal.
The website is run by the Oral Health America (OHA), which is a national non-profit organization which is based in Chicago with the dedication to change lives by providing communities access to resources in order to increase access to care, education and advocacy for all U.S. citizens, and especially the most vulnerable ones.
- With a service run by the Administration of Aging – Eldercare Locator, you can run state or service (health, transport, legal, social etc.) based searches. You can also talk to an information specialist on the following number: 1-800-677-1116. In case you have more questions, you can use the chat window where and Information Specialist is present from Monday to Friday between 9 am and 8 pm EST.
- 2-1-1 Information and Referral Search is run by the United Way and can connect you to services in your surrounding area by simply dialing 211. Dialing that number will connect you with a trained professional who is ready to answer your questions or, if needed – direct you to the most appropriate agency or organization which can provide help for dental care for seniors as well.
- PACE (Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) is a Medicare and Medicaid-run program that was put in place to help people meet their health care needs within their community. This healthcare plan can include dentistry. In order to be able to use PACE, you need to be at least 55 years of age and a resident in the area where the services are being offered and which are eligible for nursing home care.
- HRSA, or, The Health Resources and Services Administration supports federally-funded health centers for people without insurance or which with have limited income. Many centers are offering sliding scale payments based on what you can afford. You can visit their website or call them on 1-888-275-4772.
- The Dental Life Network, formerly known as the National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped provides easy access to comprehensive dental services for people with disabilities, seniors or at a health risk. Its most important program, the Donated Dental Services or DDS, has established a nation-wide network of over 17,000 volunteer dentists as well as 3,700 dental laboratories, all of which offer free dental treatments. If you want to find out if you qualify for the use of these services, go to their website or call the number 303-534-5360.
- DFTH, or the Dentistry From The Heart, is a non-profit which provides free dental care to those in need. Volunteer dentists and hygienists are donating their time for events which take place all over the country. Since there are a lot of patients which are given services during every event, the treatments only include cleaning, filling, and extraction. You can find such events here.
- If you want to find a free or inexpensive dental care, you can check out freemedicalcamps.com.
- Another option for a good low-cost dental care for seniors are dental schools since many have clinics where students gain experience by working on patients. The ADA’s website contains a list of such schools by state. For preventive care, you can try dental hygiene schools.
- The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics is a non-profit organization with a mission to broaden the access to affordable health care for the medically underserved. With its belief that access to health care is a basic human right, not a privilege, NAFCC makes sure that the poor and the uninsured can still gain access to medical and dental services. NAFCC’s goal is being accomplished by 1,200 clinics all across the country. You can search for free care on their website or by calling 1-703-647-7427
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