Many elderly persons living on a fixed income, often in the form of Social Security benefits, opt out of dental care because of the associated costs. For seniors living within a constrained budget, finding a free dental care provider can greatly improve not only the individual's health but also relieve financial stress. Many options exist for finding free dental care, among them clinics that charge either on a sliding scale basis or a flat fee.
Free Medical Clinics
Many medical clinics near major cities offer free or reduced rate medical care. In some locations, dental care is included. Visit freemedicalcamps.com to find a clinic nearby. Some ask for a small donation to help keep the clinic running, but it is not required. These clinics sometimes serve a specific group of people, such as those who have low incomes and the elderly. They may distribute free care only to those whose income fits the eligibility. In some cases, residence in the community where the clinic is located also is required.
Free Dental Clinics and Missions
Dental-specific clinics abound, and they are run by both private and religious organizations. Dentistry From the Heat is one organization that routinely holds clinic events that provide free care for those who need it. Most states host the program each year, but locations may be sparse in some areas. Operation Blessing International, a Christian religious organization, offers free dental care for those who cannot afford regular care and insurance. The National Foundation of Dentistry works with those who cannot afford dental care and who are vulnerable, such as the elderly. A representative in each state helps determine eligibility for assistance with dental care. These are just some of the popular organizations offering free dental care for seniors with low fixed incomes.
Seniors can get help with dental care through the use of discounted dental programs, flat fee clinics, or clinics with a sliding fee scale where the patient only pays what he or she can reasonably afford. For many elderly people, this might be the best option, particularly if they are on Medicare. Certain locations and neighborhoods may sponsor annual free clinics held by private organizations. Check with local community centers for more information on such events to find out when they may be in your area and the qualifications for eligibility.
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