Cancer treatment can take a tremendous toll on your oral health. Chemotherapy and radiation often cause dry mouth, gum disease, cavities, and other issues. On top of that, cancer patients frequently struggle to afford even basic dental care due to loss of income and high medical bills. Thankfully, some organizations provide dental grants to help cancer patients restore their oral health during and after treatment.
This guide will explain dental grant qualification requirements, provide a list of organizations offering grants, detail the application process, and offer tips to strengthen your application. With some work upfront, you can secure the funding needed to heal your mouth during your cancer journey.
Do I Qualify for Dental Grants for Cancer Patients?
You may qualify for dental grants if you meet the following requirements:
- Currently undergoing treatment for cancer or are in remission from cancer
- Have dental issues caused or exacerbated by cancer treatment
- Demonstrate financial need and inability to pay out-of-pocket for dental care
- Agree to follow your dentist’s full treatment plan
In most cases, grants are not based on your background, ethnicity, gender, or age. They are primarily focused on assisting cancer patients who cannot otherwise afford dental treatment. That said, some organizations do restrict their grants to specific geographic areas, cancer types, age groups, or other criteria. Carefully review the eligibility details before applying.
Organizations Offering Dental Grants for Cancer Patients
Many non-profit organizations recognize how crucial oral health is for cancer patients and provide dental grants to assist with treatment costs. Here are some of the key organizations to consider applying to:
American Childhood Cancer Organization – Offers grants of up to $500 for dental care for childhood cancer survivors. The grants can cover exams, cleanings, fillings, crowns, root canals, dentures, oral surgery, and more. Patients must be 25 or under and have had an invasive cancer diagnosis before age 21.
CancerCare – Provides limited financial assistance for dental procedures, medications, and supplies for cancer patients in active treatment. Grants range from $100 to $500 and can be used for services not covered by other resources.
Cancer Survivors Fund – Awards grants up to $5000 for cancer patients under age 25 to cover the costs of dental care and restoration. Recipients must have had an invasive cancer diagnosis before age 21.
Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan – Offers financial assistance to Michigan families struggling with a child’s cancer diagnosis and treatment costs. Dental care is one of the covered expenses in the up to $1000 grants.
Healthwell Foundation – Provides financial assistance through the Pediatric Dental Care Assistance Fund to cover out-of-pocket costs related to dental care for pediatric cancer patients. Eligible children must be under 19.
Jack’s Ride – Jack’s Ride has a dental care reimbursement fund to cover cavity treatments, root canals, cleanings, dentures, and more for childhood cancer patients up to age 25. The application is simple and funds are quickly dispersed to approved applicants.
National Children’s Cancer Society – Offers financial aid and grants for transportation, home healthcare, dental and oral surgeries, and other needs for childhood cancer patients. NCCS has 60 U.S. hospital partners.
Pink Fund – Breast cancer patients in active treatment can qualify for up to $3000 in dental grant funding to cover cleanings, fillings, crowns, root canals, dentures, and oral surgery costs related to their treatment.
Rosewell Foundation – Provides financial aid for integrative therapies, dental procedures, medication, medical supplies, and bills for housing and transportation for Arizona cancer patients.
Smiles for Life Foundation – Offers financial assistance for costs related to complex pediatric and adult dental care. Eligible patients include people with special needs, cancer, head/neck radiation, HIV/AIDS, etc.
United Healthcare Children’s Foundation – Provides medical grants of up to $5000 for families struggling with their child’s health expenses, including dental costs for cancer-related oral health issues. Must meet income eligibility.
This is just a sampling of available organizations. Your hospital social worker may also have information on local and regional foundations, charities, churches, and service groups that offer dental grants for cancer patients.
How to Apply for Dental Grants for Cancer Patients
The application process for dental grants will vary by organization but often includes:
- Completing an application – online, by mail, or through your hospital
- Writing a personal essay explaining your cancer diagnosis, treatment, financial hardship, and need for dental care
- Providing proof of cancer diagnosis and treatment status
- Submitting documentation of income taxes, pay stubs, W2s, and other financial records
- Acquiring a treatment plan and cost estimate from your dentist
Make sure to follow all instructions carefully and supply every required document. Most organizations will request records and letters directly from your oncologist and dentist as well. Expect the approval process to take anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months.
If approved, the funds will either be sent directly to your dentist or provided to you with the expectation you will use them for the outlined treatment costs. Be prepared to share receipts and records showing the money was spent on dental care.
Tips for Getting Dental Care Grants for Cancer Patients
Follow these tips to strengthen your application and get approved for much-needed dental care funding:
- Start searching for grants early – Don’t wait until you have an urgent dental problem. Begin applying for assistance right away so funding is available when you need it.
- Ask for help compiling documents – Your medical team and hospital social worker can provide letters, treatment records, and other required paperwork.
- Follow up on your application status – Don’t be afraid to call and check that your application, letters, and records were received. Correct any issues quickly.
- Reapply if denied – Denials are discouraging but common. You can reapply to the same organization after 6 months or a year.
- Be detailed in your essay – Vividly explain your financial hardship, dental issues, and cancer journey to appeal to reviewers.
- Apply to multiple organizations – Don’t count on one grant coming through. Submit to multiple groups for the best chance of approval.
Taking advantage of dental grants can allow you to restore your oral health and focus on recovery during cancer treatment. With some persistence and planning, you can secure the funding needed for exams, cleanings, fillings, dentures, oral surgery, and extensive dental work.
FAQs about Dental Grants for Cancer Patients
- Who provides dental grants for cancer patients?
Many non-profit organizations like the CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation, the United Healthcare Children’s Foundation, and the Rosewell Foundation provide dental grants to cancer patients struggling with treatment costs.
- What dental procedures do these grants cover?
Grants can typically cover any essential dental treatment including cleanings, X-rays, fillings, crowns, root canals, dentures, extractions, oral surgery, and more. Some cosmetic and elective treatments may not be covered.
- What information must I provide in the grant application?
You’ll need to submit treatment records and letters from your oncologist and dentist as well as financial documentation. A personal essay explaining your diagnosis, treatment, and dental needs is usually required too.
- How do I find out about dental grant opportunities?
Great resources include hospital social workers, cancer non-profits, dental associations, and your oncology team. You can also search online for “dental grants for cancer patients.”
- If I’m accepted, how are grant funds provided?
Most organizations will either send funds directly to your dentist to pay for treatment or reimburse you for dental expenses you’ve already paid.
- Can I apply for grants from multiple organizations?
Absolutely. Applying to several organizations will increase your chances of getting approved for a dental grant. There is no limit on how many groups you can request assistance from.
- Am I guaranteed dental grant funding if I meet the eligibility criteria?
Unfortunately, no. These programs rely on available funding and donations. Even if you qualify and apply, approval is not guaranteed. But it’s always worth trying!
- How soon after I apply will I receive grant funds?
Expect it to take 2 weeks to 3 months for applications to be processed. Some groups review applications quarterly rather than monthly. Don’t wait until you have a dental emergency to apply.
- Can I use these grants for dental implants or other major treatments?
Yes, many organizations specifically provide assistance for major dental treatments including implants, crowns, bridges, root canals, oral surgery, and orthodontia.
- Do I need to re-apply for grants every year?
Most organizations will require you to submit a new application annually. Your financial status, dental needs, and cancer treatment can change from year to year.
Restoring your oral health is a crucial part of recovering from cancer. Thankfully, many generous organizations provide dental grants to make sure you can achieve healthy teeth and gums. Take advantage of these programs to get the care you need.
Dealing with cancer is challenging enough without the burden of dental problems and bills. Sadly, the physical and financial toll of cancer treatment often leaves patients unable to access routine oral healthcare and restorative procedures. Dental grants from generous foundations and charities can provide much-needed funding when patients have nowhere else to turn.
Cancer patients should explore every available grant opportunity to secure help paying for cleanings, fillings, dentures, oral surgery, and extensive dental work. With persistence and planning, dental grants provide a lifeline, allowing patients to fix dental issues, manage side effects, minimize pain, and fully focus on recovering from cancer. Don’t let dental problems or financial hardship prevent you from seeking oral health – help is available if you know where to look for it.
Mustafa Al Mahmud is the Founder of Quick Medico and also a professional Blogger, SEO Professional as well as Entrepreneur. He loves to travel and enjoy his free moment with family members and friends.