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6 Ways for Seniors to Receive Dental Care for Little to No Money

4 minute read

Devon Taylor

By Devon Taylor

When you are a senior, dental care can be expensive and out of reach if you’re on a fixed income. In fact, the Kaiser Family Foundation reports that the average out-of-pocket spending on dental care ranges between $469 and $922. However, there is the possibility for those costs to exceed $1,000 on occasion.

If you are in a similar situation, there is no need to despair. There are plenty of ways for seniors to receive the dental care they need without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars. The best way to these options is to search online. To help get the wheels turning on your research, here are six options to consider.

1. Dental Schools

If you’re a senior citizen looking for affordable dental care, going to a clinic offered by a dental school may be a good option for you.

Since these clinics give students a chance to practice what they learn, dental care is offered at reduced prices. New Mouth reports that prices can be discounted as much as 50 percent. Better yet, some dental procedures may be offered free of charge.

If you’re worried about letting inexperienced students work on your teeth, be assured that licensed dentists supervise all procedures. These supervising dentists will ensure that dental care is done correctly. As supervisors will check every step of the student’s work, just be fine with the appointment taking longer that it would at a private office.

2. Veterans Affairs

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers dental care for those that served in the military. The care is provided through the VA’s network of over 200 dental clinics nationwide.

This care can include diagnostic, surgical, restorative, and preventive procedures. However, how much VA covers will depend on numerous factors, such as your military service history and your current health. This can range from complete coverage of dental care to one-time coverage with restrictions.

If you don’t qualify for VA’s dental coverage, you may be able to purchase cheap dental insurance through the VA Dental Insurance Program.

3. Dental Lifeline Network

Dental Lifeline Network is a national nonprofit organization that provides access to dental care for people who cannot afford it. They work with a network of over 15,000 dentists and 3,400 dental labs across the country to provide free dental care to seniors, disabled, and medically fragile people.

The Dental Lifeline Network’s flagship program is the Donated Dental Services (DDS). To date, DDS has provided $493 million in donated dental therapies and helped 165,600 people. Moreover, every dollar donated to the organization generates $8.87 in care for DDS.

4. Teeth Wisdom

Considering how expensive dental care can get, prevention is a great way to save on it. In order to better take care of your teeth and prevent the need for dental care, it is beneficial to educate yourself on how to deal with oral health concerns.

That’s where Teeth Wisdom comes in. Run by a team of experts, this website is specially designed to educate seniors and caregivers on all facets of oral health. As such, there is a wealth of information about:

  • Common dental problems for seniors;
  • How to maintain good oral health, and;
  • Where to find affordable dental care if needed.

5. Health Resources and Services Administration

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is a great resource for seniors who need help paying for dental care. The HRSA’s mission is to provide affordable health care to the geographically isolated and economically or medically vulnerable. They accomplish this mission by offering programs and grants to help subsidize health care, which includes dental care.

With over 90 programs and more than 3,000 grantees, the HRSA helps provide affordable health care for close to 29 million people. So, be sure to contact them to see if you qualify for health care in your area.

6. The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics

Despite how much the government and other organizations may try, plenty of people — be it the poor, uninsured, or underinsured — still have little to no access to affordable health care. As such, the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) has made it their goal to serve people in need of health care such as low-income seniors.

To deliver this care, the NAFC has around 1,400 free and/or charitable clinics and pharmacies across the United States. These clinics provide a variety of services, including dental care, to people for little to no money. Additionally, many of these clinics offer sliding scale fees, which means that the amount you pay for services is based on your income.

If you’re a senior in need of dental care, consider checking out one of these clinics in your area.

7. Groupon

You might be surprised to discover dental implant savings opportunities on popular deal-finding sites, but some regions feature lots of chances to save. Depending on your location, you could get dental implants for as much as 60% off the sticker price through services like Groupon. So be sure to lean on all of the online and in-person resources available near you to unlock even more savings.

hedgehog94 / Shutterstock
Devon Taylor

Managing Editor

Devon is an experienced writer and a father of three young children. He's simultaneously trying to build college funds and plan for an eventual retirement. He's been in online publishing since 2013 and has a degree from the University of Guelph. In his free time, he loves fanatically following the Blue Jays and Toronto FC, camping with his family, and playing video games.


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