Isn’t it nice when you get free money? Of course it is! That’s why you should look into grants to cover the cost of dental implants.
Dental implants can be expensive, costing several hundred or several thousand dollars. And not many people can pay that out-of-pocket. That’s where dental implant grants come in handy.
The Cosmetic Dentistry Grants Program
Cosmetic Dentistry Grants Organization
The organization behind the CDG program is The Oral Aesthetic Advocacy Group, a private organization that is funded by participating dental practices. The OAAG is driven by the belief that every single person deserves a healthy smile.
Even though the CDG program is not-for-profit, the participating volunteer dentists to pay a fee for every patient they get from the program. Because of this fee, the organization is able to pay for people’s dental implant procedures. With this fee money, they also run advocacy programs, organize marketing campaigns, and pay the people who run the program.
One thing to remember is that the patients who are referred to dentists may not follow through with the visit, or even if they do, they may not become recurring patients of that practice. But still the participating dentists are committed to helping people get confident smiles.
Fortunately, OAAG also supports initiatives that encourage good relationships between dentists and their patients.
Cosmetic Dentistry Grants Program
The CDG is free to apply for and anyone who wants to improve their smile, and they give out $1 million in grants every year.
Applicants need to prove that they have good enough oral health to support whatever procedure they are asking for. To figure out if they’re eligible, the applicant needs to take an oral assessment by a certified professional.
After you take the assessment and your dentist has approved you for dental implants, your dentist will then recommend you for the CDG and make a treatment plan.
During this process, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Applicants are responsible for the cost of the X-ray tests
- Applicants (or their insurance) are responsible for the upfront costs of treatments
- Afterward, the CDG will reimburse the patient for some of the costs
- The participating practices are listed only in California and New York
Cosmetic Dentistry Grants Review
The CDG can help with some of the expenses of a dental implant procedure, but many dental insurance plans will cover most or all of this surgery. Although it may be easier and more worth your time to simply go through your insurance.
If you don’t have dental insurance, then the CDG may be a good alternative for you.
Government Grants For Dental Implants
Simply put, the federal government doesn’t hand out grants to individuals. They do, however, give grants to nonprofits, universities, and state agencies to help improve public service and to booster the economy.
So even though the government doesn’t have grants for dental implants, they do have programs that can help pay for them.
Dental implants may be tax deductible, which means you can get a portion of the cost back in your tax return because you got implants. So you can save money on your state and federal returns. The way you’d deduct dental implants would be through Schedule A on your taxes.
You can also use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) on dental implants. Simply give the dentist your FSA debit card. The way it works is similar to a loan — pay for your dental implants with your FSA card, which is funded by your employer, and then pay back your employer within 52 weeks.
Medicaid is one the main ways low-income adults can pay for dental implants. It pays for dental services for people in every U.S. state.
Medicaid will not directly pay for you dental implants, but it can cover parts of the implant process because some of the steps include general dental services, like tooth extractions and CAT scans. So some of the costs of the whole process could be covered by a Medicaid plan.
There’s also the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) dental coverage, which is provided by Medicare and Medicaid programs. It provides health care services for adults and children. So if a family doesn’t qualify for Medicaid, they can get SCHIP coverage to help cover their kids’ dental care costs.
Other Grants For Dental Work
There are plenty of other grants from organizations looking to help people get the dental care they need. Here are some of the best ones.
Samuel Harris Fund
The Samuel Harris Fund gives money to organizations that help mothers and caregivers with their oral health. Each grant they hand out can be worth up to $5,000.
The ADA Foundation’s Access To Care Grants
Access To Care hands out grants every year to organizations and programs that offer dental services to a number of different communities.
The Senior American Access to Care Grant provides dental care to underserved senior Americans (age 62 and up).
The ADA Foundation Grant for International Volunteer Dental Projects supports organizations that seek to improve oral health access to underserved communities outside of the States.
The E. “Bud” Tarrson Dental School Student Community Leadership Award encourages dental students to reach out to vulnerable communities in the U.S.
Other Ways To Pay For Dental Implants
Grants are not the only way to pay for your dental implants. You can also look into other financial assistance options.
You can apply for a personal loan to cover your dental implants. Yes, you may end up paying high interest, but sometimes it’s important to get your smile fixed as soon as possible. And this way, you can get a lump sum of money to pay for the implants completely.
You can also use a loan as a supplemental payment. If your insurance pays for some of it and you also get a grant that helps out, you can pay off the rest of the (hopefully small) amount with a loan.
Supplemental Dental Insurance
You can get supplemental dental insurance to help cover the cost of dental implants. A lot of traditional dental insurance plans categorize implants as elective, so they most likely won’t pay for the procedure. But a supplemental insurance plan can pay your claim after 24 hours.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Cosmetic Dentistry Grants Program
Will the CDG treat me fairly?
They say they treat every patient equally and like a “cash-paying client.”
Can I use the grant toward general dental care?
Sadly, no. This grant is for cosmetic dental services only.
Can I choose my local dentist to give me the assessment?
The CDG will connect you with a participating professional in your area, and you can also request any participating dentist you like.
If you want to work with your local non-participating dentist, you can do so if the dentist meets these requirements:
- Needs to be accepted in the CDG network before assessing you
- Needs to agree to the programs terms and conditions
- Must be qualified to do the treatment
- Must be properly licensed as a dental professional
- Located in the United States or Canada
Is the CDG program only for people who can’t afford a dental implant specialist?
No. Because dental implants are considered a “cosmetic procedure,” almost no dental insurance will cover it. So it doesn’t matter how rich or poor you are, nearly everyone needs help paying for dental implants.
How can I qualify for this grant?
After you get the oral assessment, which includes consideration of your overall health, the assessing dentist will recommend you for the grant and create a treatment plan for you.
You may have to provide proof that you or your insurance company can pay for certain parts of the procedure that won’t be covered by the grant.
How does the CDG award the grants?
The CDG award thes grants in the form of partial grants, which are divvied out in proportion to the number of applicants in that distribution pool, the applicants’ treatment plans, and the amount of money available to granting.
What does the application process look like?
Here are the basic steps of the application process:
- Applicant submits request for funding through the Cosmetic Dentistry Grants Program website
- Staff review and confirm applicant’s info
- Local participating dentist agrees to give assessment and contact applicant to schedule appointment
- After the assessment, the dentist recommends the applicant for the grant
- The dentist create treatment plan for applicant
- After getting approved for a partial grant, the applicant visits dentist for the procedure
Once a dentist recommends me for inclusion into the program, how long does my inclusion last? Will it expire?
Your application and recommendation will stay valid for up to one year, after which time it will expire. And unfortunately, you’re not allowed to apply a second time.
Can I use the grant funds to pay for current or past treatments?
No, you’re not able to retroactively pay for treatment with grant funds. The money must only be used toward a treatment you will need in the future.
When you see the price tag of your dental implants, don’t stress. Thanks to the CDG, Medicaid, and tax deductions, you can spend a substantially smaller amount on implants than you might think.