Dental Implant Grants Arizona 2024: Getting Access to Affordable Dental Care

Arizona Dental: Regular dental care is essential for protecting oral health and preventing disease, yet many Arizonans struggle to access treatment due to a lack of dental insurance coverage and the high costs of procedures. Without assistance, routine cleanings, fillings, and other basic services can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars out-of-pocket – expenses that are out of reach for uninsured or underinsured residents.

Thankfully, several public and private grant programs exist in Arizona to help provide or subsidize dental services for qualifying individuals who otherwise could not afford care. These grants serve as a crucial lifeline, connecting vulnerable populations to care while reducing financial barriers.

Understanding Arizona’s Need for Dental Grants

Arizona has one of the highest rates of residents without health insurance in the U.S. – nearly 14% as of 2020. And when it comes to dental insurance specifically, over 1.5 million Arizonans lack coverage. Being uninsured can completely prevent people from accessing preventative, restorative, or emergency dental treatment due to the high costs.

Without insurance, a routine dental cleaning at a metro Phoenix office averages $100-200 out-of-pocket. Basic fillings run about $200 per tooth. More complex procedures like crowns cost $1000 to $1500 per tooth. For low-income families or individuals, these expenses make dental care unattainable.

Beyond the financial barriers, vulnerable populations such as elderly adults, people with disabilities, minorities, and rural residents also face greater difficulty securing transportation to dental clinics. And Arizona suffers from shortages of dentists accepting Medicaid.

When people cannot access regular cleanings and early treatment, minor issues become major ones. Poor oral health is tied to diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Untreated dental infections and tooth decay can even be fatal in rare cases.

By providing grants and sliding-scale fees, organizations aim to make dental care possible for those most in need. Grants offset costs to patients and fund supplies for volunteer dentists. This enables Arizonans to get care that protects their overall health.

Dental Grant Programs in Arizona

Several impactful organizations offer grants and resources to support dental care access in Arizona. These programs assist vulnerable communities statewide.

Arizona Dental Foundation

Arizona Dental Foundation

The Arizona Dental Foundation is a major source of grants benefiting dental clinics and oral health education programs across the state. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, its mission is expanding access to preventative dental treatment and education.

The ADF provides two main grant opportunities:

  • Access to Care Grants: Funds free or reduced-cost dental services, supplies/equipment, and innovative programs making care more affordable.
  • Education Grants: Supports educational programs teaching proper oral hygiene and the importance of dental health.

Past grant recipients include volunteer dental clinics serving the uninsured, pediatric dental programs, mobile dental clinics bringing care to rural towns, and oral health curriculums for schools.

Applicants include nonprofit organizations, schools, government institutions, tribes, and individual dental providers. Application cycles open in spring and fall annually. Grants range from $500 – $3000.

Dental Lifeline Network Arizona

The Dental Lifeline Network (DLN) is a national charitable organization that manages a volunteer network of dentists providing free care to people with disabilities, the elderly, or the medically vulnerable.

The DLN Arizona chapter works to connect qualifying patients in need to dentists willing to donate their services. Patients must meet the eligibility criteria, including having a permanent disability, being aged 65+, or having a medical condition that significantly complicates dental treatment. Applicants must also demonstrate financial need.

If approved, patients are matched with a volunteer dentist located in their community when available. DLN dentists provide cleanings, fillings, extractions, dentures, and more – often entirely free of charge. The organization also partners with dental labs that donate lab work.

This program provides a vital option for at-risk individuals to access dental care that would otherwise be unattainable for them. Currently over 300 dentists and 30 labs volunteer with DLN Arizona.

The mission of Mercy AZ

Mission of Mercy (MOM) is a large-scale dental clinic program providing free care to uninsured, underinsured, and underserved Arizona residents. Local dentists, specialists, hygienists, assistants, and other volunteers unite to host 1-2 day clinics in communities across the state.

At these massive events, basic dental services like cleanings, fillings, and extractions are provided free of charge to all attendees on a first-come basis. More complex procedures are referred out. The clinics provide a rapid way to get care to hundreds of patients in each area.

Over the past two decades, MOM-AZ has organized over two dozen clinics seeing 4000-5000 patients at their largest Phoenix and Tucson events. Sites have included Standford, Phoenix, Queen Creek, Sahuarita, Flagstaff, Guadalupe, and more. Their care has amounted to over $30 million in free dentistry.

Uninsured or underserved Arizona residents can check the MOM website for upcoming clinics scheduled in different cities. Arriving early each day is recommended.

Arizona Community Foundation

The Arizona Community Foundation is a major philanthropic organization that offers grants to support programs striving to improve healthcare access and affordability across the state – including dental services.

Their competitive grant programs fund nonprofit organizations and initiatives that:

  • Provide free or low-cost dental care to the uninsured/underinsured
  • Operate mobile dental clinics bringing preventative services to rural and remote areas
  • Run preventative dental programs like sealants and fluoride for children
  • Offer dental screenings and connect people to affordable dentists
  • Educate communities about oral health and dental hygiene
  • Recruit dentist volunteers and reduce barriers to receiving care

Eligible nonprofits can apply for funding during the spring and fall/winter grant cycles. Awards range from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars. The Arizona Community Foundation has supported dozens of impactful dental access projects.

Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors

The Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors offers grant funding for innovative programs aimed at preventing dental disease and expanding access to care for underserved populations.

Their grant amounts range from $5000 to $35,000 for one-year projects. Eligible applicants include state/local government agencies, schools, and coalitions/nonprofits that have partnered with a health entity.

Past dental projects funded in Arizona include a school-based sealant program focused on low-income 2nd graders and a rural mobile dental care program bringing services to isolated communities.

Indian Health Service Dental Clinics

The Indian Health Service is a federal agency operating a network of dental clinics across tribal areas of Arizona. These facilities offer dental services at reduced or no cost to eligible Native American and Alaska Native individuals.

Services available can include cleanings, x-rays, fillings, tooth extractions, root canals, dentures, and more. Eligibility is based on being an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe. Income below certain thresholds may also be required at some locations.

These clinics significantly expand access to dental care for underserved populations on reservations. Locations can be found in tribal communities across the state.

Read More: Why To Avoid Dairy After Dental Implant

Finding and Applying for Dental Grants

Navigating the various nonprofit and government grant programs assisting with dental care costs can be challenging. Here are some tips for Arizonans seeking financial assistance:

  • Research organizations and causes you are eligible for based on your demographic, income, and dental needs.
  • Follow application instructions closely and submit all required documents.
  • If a dental expense is urgent, explain the situation and need clearly to potential providers.
  • Ask clinics if they offer any discounted rates or sliding fee scales for the uninsured.
  • Search for local pop-up free dental clinics hosted by programs like Mission of Mercy AZ.
  • Check if you qualify for Medicaid’s emergency dental services if your financial situation has changed.
  • Contact local dentists to explain your situation and ask if they provide any pro bono services.
  • Remain persistent and don’t get discouraged if a grant application is declined. Reapply or seek other options.

Dental Grants Provide a Lifeline for Arizonans in Need

For economically disadvantaged Arizonans and those facing health conditions, dental grants offer a lifeline. The funding removes the financial barriers to receiving routine cleanings, cavity fillings, tooth extractions, dentures, and more.

While not everyone may qualify based on specific requirements, these programs provide essential access for thousands of vulnerable patients annually. No one should have to live with dental pain, infections, or tooth loss because they cannot afford treatment.

As Dr. Rebecca Runck, a volunteer dentist with Mission of Mercy shares, “It’s so rewarding to be able to provide care for people who truly have nowhere else to turn and sincerely appreciate what we’re able to do. Everyone deserves a healthy mouth.”

With the assistance of grants and charitable care, many more Arizona residents can achieve good oral health.


Access to dental care is out of reach for many uninsured and underserved Arizonans due to the prohibitively high costs. Thankfully, organizations like the Arizona Dental Association, Dental Lifeline Network, Mission of Mercy, and Indian Health Services administer grants and programs providing critical access to those most in need. By reducing financial barriers, these dental grants give vulnerable populations across Arizona the ability to obtain essential oral healthcare and improve their overall health and well-being.

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