• Clinical trials and dental societies may offer free or reduced-cost dental implants.
  • Programs like Donated Dental Services and Give Back a Smile provide free dental care, potentially including implants, to specific groups.
  • Medicare and Medicaid may cover dental implants in limited, medically necessary cases.
  • Use Authority Dental to find affordable dental care near you.

Is it possible to get dental implants for free? Here's everything you need to know.

Fixed denture implants

Picture by Authority Dental under CC 2.0 license

Medicare and Medicaid

Federal and state programs may help finance associated procedures or help you get other restorations such as dentures for free. It is unlikely that they cover the dental implant procedure itself, unless under very particular circumstances.

Medicare and Medicaid are great examples of such initiatives.

Medicaid helps the underpaid in paying for medical expenses. It works differently in every state. Most commonly, younger people receive more coverage with lower copays than adults and your implant needs to be medically necessary.

Medicare, on the other hand, is a national medical insurance program meant for those who are over 65 or who suffer from certain diseases or disabilities. There are a few programs but not all include dental care let alone dental implant treatment, so make sure to check the fine print.

Three single implants on the lower arch

Picture by Authority Dental under CC 2.0 license

Due to the fact that implants are treated as cosmetic treatment both by dental and insurance specialists, getting a full refund is practically impossible. Nonetheless, it is always worth considering the potential options.

Free dental implant programs for disabled, seniors, and low-income patients

The following programs are mainly based on volunteer dentists and labs, catering to those who need dental work most. Some target specific social groups, so it’s important to check what kind of candidates they are looking for. Patients receive treatment free of charge.

Donated Dental Services

Donated Dental Services is a program endorsed by many respected associations, including the ADA. They are funded by the Dental Lifeline Network and provide free comprehensive services. Those are targeted at the elderly, disabled, medically fragile, and veterans.

  • Funded by: Dental Lifeline Network

  • Eligibility: elderly, disabled, medically fragile, veterans

  • Website: www.dentallifeline.org

  • E-mail address: administrator@dentallifeline.org

  • Phone number: 303.534.5360

Taking part in the program does not automatically mean you will receive implants. The decision as to what treatment is best is always made by the surgeons performing the procedure. You can apply via post or online.

Here is what the process looks like:

  • Find your state and click on the application link.

  • Fill out every section to the best of your ability. Attach proof of disability if you have one.

  • Wait for a response. If you qualify, you will be put on a waiting list. If not, you will receive a letter of denial. This step could take several months, as there are many factors to consider.

  • You will be contacted by DDS to go over your application and be matched with a volunteer dentist.

  • He or she will determine your eligibility and what procedures to go ahead with.

Give Back a Smile

Give Back a Smile is an organization that provides dental care to those who have been affected by domestic and/or sexual violence and have suffered mouth or teeth injuries. They are funded by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) Charitable Foundation.

  • Funded by: American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) Charitable Foundation

  • Eligibility: adult survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence

  • Website: www.givebackasmile.com

  • E-mail address: givebackasmile@aacd.com

  • Phone number: 800.543.9220

There is a $20 application fee. This can be exchanged for 10 hours of social work, making the treatment completely free. It is decided during a preliminary examination what kind of dental work is needed, which might be implants.

Volunteers of GBaS do not treat any issues caused by neglect (such as cavities and gum disease) or fix any previous dental work. They focus on injuries to the smile zone, which took place at least a year ago. Exceptions are made if the abuser is in prison, jail, or deceased.

The applicant must also fulfill several requirements. This includes meeting with at least one of the following:

  • a domestic violence/sexual assault advocate,

  • case manager,

  • counselor,

  • faith leader,

  • therapist, or

  • doctor with experience in counseling survivors of domestic violence/sexual assault.

Here is what the application process looks like:

  • Download the form or call 800.772.4227 and one will be mailed to you.

  • Fill it out and send it to: Mailing to Give Back a Smile, 402 West Wilson St, Madison, WI 53703

  • You can also fax it to 888.488.688.

  • If you qualify, you will be informed by mail. You will be referred to a volunteer dentist if there is one within 200 miles of you. It is your responsibility to schedule a consultation.

  • He or she will decide on your final eligibility and propose a treatment plan.

Allan Seidman

Allan Seidman, DDS

I donate all in-office materials and time and ask the dental laboratories I use to donate all lab work. No cost to the patient at all, other than any transportation required to get to my office. Patients are vetted through the organizations.

Free dental implants from clinical trials

Clinical trials are tests during which dentists practice new techniques and drugs.

During a clinical trials, specialists may experiment with new materials or a new type of crown, abutment, or dental bridge. This means the procedure comes with a certain degree of risk, but the job is done by experienced practitioners. Clinical trial candidates can get cheap or even free implants in return.

In order to find current clinical trials, use this search engine by ClinicalTrials.gov or this one by Patientwing.com. It is best to schedule a consultation or ask the person managing the program directly whether you are a candidate and to get an estimate.

Explore state and county dental societies

Local dental societies are a great place to find information on pro bono dental implants, other dental work, and clinical trials. Most societies have their own foundations. They help them fund grants for other non-profits and clinics. These, in turn, often offer free treatment to the less fortunate and other social groups.

You can use the ADA search tool to find contact information. Select your state and your local dental society. You can look through their page to see if anyone is currently funding any implant programs in your area.