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Where to find inexpensive and even free dental care in the USA

There are many sources of dental care in the United States, including local health departments, health insurance programs, dental schools, clinical trials, and state and local resources. the official website U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Local health departments

Bureau of Primary Health Care, Service Office of Health Resources and Services (1-888-Ask-HRSA), supports community health centers, funded from the federal budgetnationwide who provide free or low-cost medical services, including dental care.

Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP

Medicare & Medicaid Service Centers (CMS) operates three important federally-funded programs: Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Medicate Is a health insurance program for people 65 years of age or older or for people with disabilities. Medicare dental care is limited and does not cover most daily dental care or prosthetics.

Medicaid Is a state-level program that provides health benefits and, in some cases, dental benefits to eligible individuals and families. States have their own rules about who is eligible and what services are covered. Most states provide limited emergency dental care for people 21 and older, and some offer comprehensive services. For most people under the age of 21 dental services are provided through Medicaid.

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CHIP helps children under 19 who do not have health insurance. CHIP provides health insurance and, in most cases, dental services children who have the right to do so. The dental services covered by this program vary from state to state.

CMS (1-800-MEDICARE) can provide details of each of these programs and refer you to the appropriate state programs.

Dental schools

Dental schools (American Dental Association) can be a good source of quality dental treatment at discounted prices. Most of these educational institutions have clinics that allow dental students to gain experience in treating patients while providing services at discounted prices. Experienced licensed dentists watch the students closely. Most educational institutions offer postgraduate and faculty admissions.

Dental Hygiene Schools (American Dental Hygienist Association) may also offer controlled, low-cost preventive dental care as part of dental hygienist training.

Clinical trials

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) sometimes seeks volunteers with certain dental, craniofacial and oral diseases to participate in research, also known as clinical trials... Researchers can provide study participants with limited free or low-cost dental treatment for the specific condition they are studying. To see if there are any NIDCR clinical trials that you could fit into, go to the “NIDCR Research for Patient Search". A complete list of all federal-funded clinical trials can be found at To find out if you are eligible for any clinical trials on campus in Bethesda, Maryland, you can call the Clinical Center's Patient and Public Affairs Department at 1-800-411-1222.

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Local and state resources

Your state or county health department may know about programs in your area that offer free or preferential dental care. Call your local or state health department to learn more about their financial assistance programs. The number can be found in your phone book or on the Internet.

United way

United way can refer you to free or premium dental services in your area. Local chapters can be found on the United Way website.

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