Finding Dental Care for a Low Income Disabled Person

I'm in desperate need of help. I'm only 41yrs old, I'm on disability for severe fibromyalgia and I have an autoimmune disease, Shogrens Syndrome that deteriorates my teeth. I haven't had the money to go to the dentist regularly and I'm terrified I'm going to need dentures at 50. I've been researching online, but I can only find clinics that will do just preventive work. I needs implants, bridges, etc. I could put a dentist's kid in college for what I need done. I'm scared and just need some good advise.


Thank you. :)

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May 30, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

So sorry to hear about your issues. Sending lots of healing wishes up for you.

Depending on where you live, there may be resources available to you for free or very low cost dental care.

1. Do you have health (medical) insurance (either through an employer or the marketplace)? If so, call their customer service (the number should be on your insurance card) and ask if 1. if there are any dental/oral surgery services covered under the benefit or 2. if not, do they know of plans or planned free care dental programs for their members? If there are services covered, ask for a recommendation for a NETWORK provider who takes your plan.


In my area, there are frequently insurance sponsored, free dental programs that are first come first serve, but will work with you to get needed care.

2. If you do not have the type of insurance above, are you on social security disability (and are eligible for Medicare) or do you qualify for Medical Assistance?

If you have or qualify for either of insurances, follow the same procedure as able to find out what the benefit covers or if they offer a free dental event. For Medical Assistance, your state's Department of Health or Department of Public Welfare may be able to assist. For Medicare, most dental services ARE NOT covered (like preventive), but if you are in the hospital or have a dental emergency, they may cover what they call complex care (see this link). Someone at Medicare can explain this to you better exactly what they would or would not cover and when.


3. Do you have a dental school in your town? Some dental schools offer free or low cost dental care, with the caveat that they are SUPERVISED students working on you. Some are first come, first serve and the appointments have parameters around they take X amount of time or are only available on certain days and hours.

4. Are you a veteran? There are frequently free dental programs available to veterans. Your local Veteran's Administration can help.

5. If all else fails, start calling around to local dentists and see if someone will work with you on a super small sliding scale. You never know. These are not common, but there are dentists out there who do "pro bono" or limited pay work. It can't hurt to ask.

Good luck!

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May 30, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you so much for your reply, it is very helpful!!
I greatly appreciate your time. :)

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May 30, 20180 found this helpful

You are most welcome. I have a lot of experience with dealing with dental care and insurances.


Sending up lots of wishes that you find a solution.

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May 30, 20180 found this helpful

Hi there! I just took my neighbour to a dental school to help her with her fractured tooth that needed removal/implant. We had to wait in a long long line but it is worth it.

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May 30, 20180 found this helpful

Try a local dental school.

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May 30, 20180 found this helpful

try a local dental school but also at times a little self help can work

- xylitol is great for teeth. Chew on xylitol tablets or gum
- some people swear by the weston price foundation protocols. Mainly is someting of a Paleo approach to diet, which may or may not be bad for your condition

- neem oil is great for teeth and so is tea tree oil. We also can't afford dentists and my spouse reduced pain aches by switching to a tea tree oil toothpaste
- things i have heard people doing to actively combat decay to the point one lady I know avoided having to get a root canal has been:
gargling with hydrogen peroxide
putting raw garlic on the infected tooth
taking cod liver oil supplements
- if eating fruit, sugar, or carbs, wait 30 minutes before brushing. Instead gargle with tea tree mouthwash or oil pull
- oil pulling is tremedously good for your teeth, some go as far s to say it eliminates decay but I wouldn't go that far, I would say it is great for hygiene generally and not harsh at all

- fluoride for dental care is very controversial topic. Some say use it more while others less/not at all. i invite you to go down that rabbit hole yourself by going down a google rabbit hole

people being what they are, I have to explicitly state that I am NOT recommending 'self help' instead of really trying to find someone who will help. By all means find a dentist who will help low income people but between now and then, why not try different things

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May 30, 20180 found this helpful

You might want to research in your area for free dental. There are even some organizations that provide free dental depending on your location.

Some useful links:

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