It can be stressful thing when you need dentures but can’t afford them. Fortunately, there are ways to get dentures for low-income folks, like low-cost or free dentures. You may not have known about some of the options out there.
Many people assume dentures are overpriced, but keep in mind that dentists need to have a special set of skills and knowledge to fit and manufacture dentures. When you realize how much work and materials goes into creating a new set of teeth, you’ll see that the price can actually be reasonable.
However, basic dentures can still cost anywhere from $300 to $600, but they can cost even more depending on what type of dentures you need. Even $300 is a lot of money to someone with a lower income.
So here are some denture options for poorer folks who can’t afford to drop hundreds or thousands of dollars on a new set of teeth.
Dental Insurance And Related Options
The first and best option is to contact your dental insurance company — whether private insurance, Medicare, etc. — and ask if they will cover the dentures you need. Often times, the insurance company can cover most or all of the cost.
However, that’s not always the case. If your insurance won’t cover enough of your replacement, you can get dental insurance plan, a dental discount plan, or any number of things. Here are some other options you can consider.
In some states, Medicaid will help cover some dental services, possibly dentures. If you have a very low income, you may qualify to get Medicaid benefits. You can find out if you qualify by contacting your local Medicaid office.
Reduced-Cost / Free Clinics
In many state, there are dental clinics that offer free or reduced-cost services. Below are a few websites that allow you to search for these types of clinics in your area:
Your Local Hospital
Local hospitals sometimes have dental clinics, so it’s a good idea to call your local hospital to ask if they do. If they have a dental clinic, they can tell you what services they offer, what the associated fees are, and how they take payments (or if they offer a payment plan).
Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)
FQHCs are sometimes called Primary Health Care Service Delivery Sites. They’re basically health care facilities that are purposefully located in regions considered medically underserved. And they sometimes offer dentals services.
Community Health Centers
There are plenty of CHCs throughout the country and many of them provide free or affordable dental care (among other health services). They’re able to offer cheaper dental care because they’re funding comes from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
This one is a little out of left field as some people may not be comfortable having a dental student work on their mouth. But they can provide good quality and low-cost dental care, obviously working under the supervision of an experienced professional dentist.
Click here to see if there’s a dental school near you.
Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
PACE is a program that can provide low-cost dentures for seniors, specifically seniors who need care within the context of a nursing home. It’s available in some states to those with Medicare and Medicaid.
Dental Discount Plans
Another option that’s becoming more widely known and accepted are dental discount plans. This is a membership plan with a small annual fee that gets you discounts on dental care, regardless of pre-existing conditions or insurability.
Once you get a plan, you would just show your membership card at every dentist visit, allowing you to get up to 60% off of the cost of the services.
Charities And Grants For Dentures
In addition to or instead of the above options, you can also look at grants for dentures. Thanks to the many grants available, there are easily accessible denture services for low-income households that can help cover the cost of dental care.
Donated Dental Service Programs
The DDS program offers free and comprehensive dental treatment to people with disabilities, the elderly, or those who cannot afford the health care they need. It’s run by a volunteer network of dentists and dental labs all over the United States.
DDS programs are not in every state, so you’ll want to see if you have one near you.
Domestic Violence Give Back a Smile Program
Thanks to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, this program offers free restorative dental care to people with damaged teeth from criminal domestic violence. Any victim of domestic violence whose dental injuries were caused by a spouse or partner is eligible (victim must have been out of the abusive relationship for at least one year).
This is a very specific situation, but we wanted to include it just in case this is you or someone you know.
Mouthglove Free Dentures Program (For Organ Donors or Recipients)
If you’ve donated an organ or have received a donated organ, you may qualify for this program through Mouthglove Dentures. Take note, this is not for those who have opted to donate an organ post-mortem, but rather someone who has already given or received an organ for a life-saving surgery.
You should also know that help may be limited as they only offer a single donation of an upper or lower set of dentures per month. Also, Mouthglove will require your permission to use your story in their press releases.
But it may be worth checking out if you can get affordable or free dentures.
The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFCC)
The NAFCC is an organization that is determined to make affordable health care (including dental care) available to more people who are medically underserved. Their belief is that good healthcare is a right, not a privilege. And they seek to help people with no insurance or a lack of access to proper care.
They have more than 1,200 clinics across the country, so you should visit their website to see if they have a clinic near you.
Dentures Can Be Free
So, yes, you can get dentures for less than what you’d expect, thanks to all these options. If you put a little time into combing through these options and finding the right ones for you, your dentures could end up being very affordable or even free.
Who says you need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on dentures?