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Are you in need of dental implants but don’t have the means to pay for them? Don’t worry, there are charities out there that can help. In this article, we will explore some of the well-established dental charities that provide assistance to both adults and children in need of oral care. These organizations offer a range of services from free treatments to financial support for dental work.
Dental Charities for Adults
When it comes to dental care for adults, there are several charitable organizations that focus on providing assistance. Many adults lose their Medicaid and CHIP coverage after turning 21, leaving them with limited options for affordable dental care. However, these charities aim to fill that gap.
Dental Lifeline Network
The Dental Lifeline Network (DLN) is a nonprofit organization that offers access to oral care and education for those who cannot afford it. The DLN provides affordable treatment to individuals who fall into one of three categories: those with permanent disabilities, the elderly (65 and older), and medically fragile individuals. To determine eligibility, you can apply for benefits on the DLN website and get your name on the waiting list. The flagship program, Donated Dental Services (DDS), connects qualified patients with dentists and laboratories that offer free or discounted treatment.
Smiles for Everyone
The Smile for Everyone Foundation is committed to providing free dental care to people in need, both in the United States and abroad. Their programs include Days of Giving, Smile Makeovers, and Implanting Inspiration, each offering different levels of treatment to pre-qualified patients. While their website currently does not show any upcoming events, it’s worth keeping an eye out for future opportunities.
Give Back a Smile
The Give Back a Smile program, operated by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry® (AACD) charitable foundation, helps adults who have suffered dental injuries from domestic or sexual violence. To determine eligibility, you can visit the Give Back a Smile website and complete an online application. The program connects qualified individuals with volunteer providers in their local area.
Dentistry from the Heart
Dentistry from the Heart is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free oral care services to communities in need. While their website no longer includes an FAQ section, you can follow them on Facebook or YouTube for more information. They offer complimentary services such as basic cleanings, tooth extractions, and cavity fillings on a first-come, first-served basis.
Charitable Smiles is a nonprofit organization that helps connect adults in need of oral care with participating dentists who volunteer their services. To receive assistance from Charitable Smiles, patients must be nominated by their dental healthcare providers. Speak to your dentist about the nomination process and see if you qualify for their program.
Mission of Mercy
Mission of Mercy (MOM) is a charitable organization that provides free health and dental services to low-income households in the United States. They operate mobile units through their affiliate offices and often partner with regional professional associations, insurance companies, and other nonprofits. To learn more about their services, contact your local Mission of Mercy center.
Dental Charities for Cancer Survivors
While dental charities for cancer survivors may not be able to provide assistance to every individual, there may be options available depending on your circumstances. In cases where tooth loss is a result of cancer treatment, health insurance may cover medically necessary dental work. Procedures such as tooth extraction before radiation, mandibulectomy for cyst and tumor removal, and addressing side effects of chemotherapy (mucositis and stomatitis) may be covered.
Grant Making Dental Charities
Many dental charities provide grant money to other nonprofit organizations that offer oral care services to underserved populations. While they don’t provide direct funding to individuals, these organizations play a crucial role in supporting dental clinics.
The Patterson Foundation is a private grant-making organization that provides funding to charities that help patients with dental care needs. While you cannot apply for a grant as an individual, you can follow the money flow to recipient entities. Their website lists grant recipients and can help you find local clinics that offer free or low-cost dental care.
America’s Dentists Care Foundation (ADCF) focuses on delivering oral healthcare to the underserved. They offer support to other establishments seeking to establish and operate free clinics, such as Mission of Mercy (MOM) and other groups. Their website provides a state-based listing of local organizations they support, which can be a good starting point for finding a clinic near you.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD) Foundation funds community-based initiatives where pediatric dentists help underserved children. Grant money is directed to local clinics that provide oral care to children from families who cannot afford it. The AAPD Foundation website publishes a list of recent grant recipients, which can help you find a clinic in your area.
DentaQuest operates a corporate giving department that funds smaller dental charities serving the public. They support over a hundred organizations across multiple states. Their corporate website highlights their giving to specific charities, providing leads to possible grantees in your area.
Dental Charities for Children
When it comes to dental care for children, many charities also focus their efforts on providing assistance. Since programs like Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Plans often cover oral care for patients under 18, these charities often have a specific focus.
Several charitable organizations provide assistance in paying for orthodontic braces for children under 18. Programs like Smiles Change Lives, Smile for a Lifetime, and Donated Orthodontic Services offer help to eligible families. Income eligibility, recommendations, and community service may be required to qualify for these programs.
Mars Wrigley Foundation
The Mars Wrigley Foundation aims to create better communities and healthier smiles by supporting initiatives that benefit millions of individuals worldwide. While their website provides information about various initiatives, the flow of grant money for dental care can be challenging to trace.
The National Children’s Oral Health Foundation (NCOHF), also known as America’s ToothFairy, supports clinics and community partners that provide dental care to underserved children. They offer resources for local clinics, grants for extensive care, and assistance for children with special needs. Their website publishes a state-based list of clinics they support, which can help you find a nearby organization.
The American Dental Association sponsors a charitable program called Give Kids A Smile® (GKAS), which provides free oral health education, screenings, and treatment to children. GKAS events are held annually, with thousands of dentists and dental team members volunteering their services. To find out if there is a GKAS event near you, you can call 1.844.490.
In conclusion, dental charities play a crucial role in providing oral care to individuals who cannot afford it. Whether you’re an adult in need of dental implants or a parent seeking assistance for your child’s oral care, these charities offer hope and support. Explore their websites, apply for benefits, and reach out to local clinics to see if they can help make you smile again.