Dental Grants for Seniors: As we age, our dental health often declines. Many seniors find themselves in need of dental work like cleanings, fillings, dentures, and more. But dental care can be expensive, especially for those on a fixed income. The good news is that there are organizations that provide dental grants for seniors to help cover some of these costs. This guide will cover the different types of dental grants available in 2024 and provide tips for seniors to receive funding for their dental needs.
Types of Dental Grants for Seniors
There are a variety of grant programs that provide dental care assistance to senior citizens every year. Here are some of the main types of dental grants seniors can look into applying for:
Federal Government Grants
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) offers grants to support oral health services for the elderly and disabled. These grants are distributed to qualifying dental clinics, hospitals, and organizations that provide free or discounted dental treatment. Seniors can contact local dental clinics to find out if they accept federal grant funding that they may qualify for.
Some of the major federal grant programs include:
- State Oral Health Workforce Improvement Grants– Provides funding to states to increase access to dental care in underserved communities.
- State Dental Public Health Infrastructure Development Grants– Builds state capacity for dental sealant programs and other prevention efforts targeting elderly populations.
- Ryan White HIV/AIDS Dental Reimbursements– Helps dental clinics recoup costs for providing treatment to low-income HIV+ seniors.
- Older Americans Act Funding– Supports dental care programs at senior centers and meal delivery sites.
State Dental Grants
Many states offer dental grant programs to help seniors and other underserved residents pay for dental procedures. These state-specific grants are distributed to nonprofit clinics, tribal health centers, or dental schools that provide free or low-cost dental treatment. Seniors can contact their local health department to find dental providers that accept state dental grants in their area.
Some examples of state dental grants include:
- Arizona: Elderly Dental Care Program– Provides dentures and other restorative services for qualifying low-income seniors.
- California: Community Clinic Grants– Funds dental care at licensed clinics serving the elderly, disabled, and families.
- Florida: Florida Dental Care Grant for The Elderly– Helps cover dental care costs for low-income seniors age 60+.
- New York: Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage Dental– Includes dentures and exams for seniors enrolled in EPIC prescription plans.
Dental Schools & Dental Hygiene Programs
Many dental schools, hygiene programs, and colleges have clinics that offer discounted dental services while training students and hygienists. Seniors may be able to get cleanings, X-rays, dentures, extractions, fillings, and more at significantly reduced costs compared to private dental offices. Look for dental schools and hygiene clinics in your state or region that accept senior patients.
Charitable Dental Grants
Some various nonprofit organizations and charities provide dental grants and scholarships for seniors in need:
- BenefitsCheckUp– Maintains a database of over 2,500 programs that provide free or low-cost dental care for seniors.
- Missions of Mercy– Hosts free dental clinics across the U.S. providing cleanings, fillings, and extractions.
- Dental Lifeline Network– Partners with 15,000 dentists to donate free dental care to disabled, elderly, or medically fragile individuals.
- org– Provides a searchable database of grants for low-income seniors and senior veterans.
- MAP International– Operates pop-up dental clinics domestically and abroad serving vulnerable elderly populations.
- America’s ToothFairy– Offers grants to nonprofits providing oral health education and dental treatment for underserved seniors.
Tips for Applying for Dental Grants
Seniors looking to get financial assistance for dental care through grants should keep these tips in mind:
Carefully review the eligibility requirements for any grant program before applying. This usually involves meeting age, income, and residency criteria. Having a specific health condition or qualifying disability may also make you eligible.
Gather Required Documents
Applications often require proof of identity, age, income, and residence. This may include copies of your driver’s license, birth certificate, tax returns, and utility bills. Letters from doctors describing your dental condition may also be needed.
Complete Applications Thoroughly
Follow all instructions carefully and fill out applications in their entirety. Missing information can get your application rejected. Be ready to explain your financial need and describe your dental issues.
Many grant programs have limited funding and operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Apply as early as possible once programs open up for the year. Waiting until year-end could mean funds are depleted.
Follow Up Diligently
Contact the grant program if you do not receive a status update within a month or two of applying. Be persistent and reapply if you are initially rejected. Grants are competitive so you may have to apply more than once.
Inquire About Other Services
Even if you do not qualify for full dental grants, many providers offer other assistance like discounted treatment, no-interest payment plans, or sliding-scale fees based on your income. Always ask about these options.
Common Dental Procedures Covered by Grants
Dental grants help seniors pay for a variety of necessary and even lifesaving dental treatments. Here are some of the most common procedures that these grants will cover, either fully or partially:
- Cleanings and X-rays – Prevents painful gum disease.
- Fillings – Helps repair cavities and tooth decay.
- Root canals – Treats infected nerves.
- Tooth extractions – Remove damaged teeth that can’t be repaired.
- Crowns – Caps teeth to reinforce strength.
- Dentures and implants – Replaces missing teeth.
- Oral cancer screenings – Critical for early detection.
- Fluoride treatments – Reduces risk of decay.
Without grants, these dental services could cost seniors thousands of dollars out of pocket. Grant funding makes it possible for elderly patients to afford this vital oral care.
Senior Dental Grants By State
Dental grant options can vary significantly depending on where you live. Here is a state-by-state breakdown of some of the top dental grants and resources available to seniors:
- Alabama Dental Association Donated Dental Services – Provides free dental care for disabled, elderly, or medically compromised patients.
- University of Alabama School of Dentistry – Offers discounted general and specialty dental treatment.
- Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Dental Clinic – Serves Alaska Native elders with free or low-cost dental care.
- Alaska Dental Action Coalition Grant – Improves oral health among vulnerable populations, including seniors.
- Arizona Dental Foundation Emergency Dental Care Program – Covers emergency dental needs for disadvantaged seniors.
- East Valley Senior Services Dental Assistance – Offers grants and sliding-scale fees for seniors in Mesa.
- Arkansas State Dental Association Donated Dental Services – Links elderly and special needs patients to discounted dental care.
- University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Dental Clinic Seniors program – Provides free cleanings, fillings, and dentures to qualifying low-income seniors.
- Little Sisters of the Poor St. Anne’s Dental Clinic – Operates a free dental clinic for low-income seniors in San Francisco.
- Northeast Valley Health Corporation Senior Dental Program – Offers discounted basic dental care to seniors in Los Angeles County.
- Colorado Dental Association Senior Dental Assistance Program – Helps seniors access pro-bono dental care across Colorado.
- Senior Dental Program (Delta County) – Provides dentures and select dental care to low-income seniors in Delta County.
- Connecticut Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped – Operates clinics offering free dental services to seniors statewide.
- University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine Geriatric Dental Center – Provides specialty geriatric dental services on a sliding fee scale.
- Henrietta Johnson Dental Clinic (Wilmington) – Nonprofit clinic providing free or low-cost dental care for qualified seniors.
- University of Delaware Dental Clinic – Offers discounted cleanings, fillings, and dentures for seniors.
- Florida Dental Association Foundation Emergency Dental Care Program – Provides limited emergency dental care for disadvantaged seniors.
- Florida Department of Health Dental Program – Administers grants that fund low-cost dental clinics serving seniors.
- The Ben Massell Dental Clinic (Atlanta) – Offers dental services on a sliding fee scale based on income for seniors.
- Augusta University Dental College of Georgia clinic – Provides dental care to uninsured and underserved seniors on a sliding fee scale.
- Hawaii Dental Service Foundation Grant Program – Funds clinics providing free dental care across Hawaii.
- University of Hawaii at Manoa Dental Hygiene Clinic – Offers discounted preventive dental services on a sliding fee scale.
- Idaho State Dental Association Donated Dental Services – Connects volunteer dentists to seniors in need of care.
- Idaho Dental Foundation Give Back Program – Allows dentists to donate services to help qualified seniors.
- Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation Senior Dental Care Program Grants – Support clinics serving low-income seniors.
- University of Illinois Chicago College of Dentistry Senior Dental Clinic – Provides free dental treatment for disadvantaged Chicago seniors.
- Indiana University School of Dentistry Postgraduate Clinic – Offers discounted dental services to Indianapolis area seniors.
- Gentle Dental Clinic (South Bend) – Nonprofit clinic providing care to low-income, uninsured, and homeless seniors.
- Iowa Donated Dental Services – Links volunteer dentists with disabled, elderly, or medically fragile patients.
- University of Iowa College of Dentistry Clinic for Older Adults – Serves Iowa City-area seniors and provides geriatric specialty care.
- Kansas Dental Charitable Foundation – Provides grants to safety net clinics offering free or low-cost senior dental care.
- University of Kansas School of Dentistry – Offers reduced rates on dental services for qualifying seniors.
- University of Kentucky College of Dentistry Clinic – Provides comprehensive dental care to Kentucky seniors at discounted student rates.
- Kentucky Dental Association Mission of Mercy (MOM) – Hosts free mobile dental clinics across Kentucky, serving seniors.
- Louisiana Dental Association Foundation Senior Dental Assistance Program – Helps low-income seniors access pro bono dental care.
- LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry Clinic – Provides dental services to disadvantaged seniors on a sliding fee scale.
- Maine Dental Association Donated Dental Services – Links volunteer dentists with seniors in need of dental care.
- Frannie Peabody Center (Portland) – Nonprofit offering low-cost dental care to HIV+ Maine seniors.
- University of Maryland School of Dentistry Senior Dental Clinic – Provides free and low-cost dental treatment for Maryland seniors.
- Holy Cross Germantown Hospital Dental Clinic – Offers discounted dental services based on income for seniors.
- ForsythKids Dental Program (Boston) – Nonprofit providing underserved seniors with free dental care.
- Tufts University School of Dental Medicine Clinic – Provides low-cost dental services to Boston-area elderly patients.
- University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry Senior Dental Clinic – Offers reduced-cost cleanings, fillings, dentures, and more for Michigan seniors.
- Upper Peninsula Michigan Dental Outreach Coalition – Improves senior dental access through clinics and provider training.
- Minnesota Dental Association Mission of Mercy – Hosts free dental clinics for underserved seniors and families.
- University of Minnesota School of Dentistry – Provides dental care to elderly patients at substantially reduced costs.
- University of Mississippi Medical Center College of Dentistry Clinics – serves low-income elderly patients on a sliding scale basis.
- Mississippi Dental Association Mississippi Mission of Mercy – Pop-up dental clinics providing free care for underserved seniors.
- Missouri Dental Association Foundation Emergency Dental Care Program – Provides limited emergency dental services for disadvantaged seniors.
- Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health Community Dentistry Clinic – Offers low-cost dental services to St. Louis area seniors.
- Montana Dental Association Donated Dental Services – Links senior patients to dentists who donate their services.
- University of Montana Dental Clinic – Provides discounted preventive dental care to Missoula area seniors.
- Nebraska Mission of Mercy – Hosts free mobile dental clinics serving underserved elderly Nebraskans.
- Creighton University School of Dentistry Clinic – Offers reduced-cost dental services to seniors in the Omaha area.
- University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine Clinic – Serves seniors at discounted rates.
- Huntridge Teaching Clinic (Las Vegas) – Nonprofit clinic providing free dental care to disadvantaged Nevada seniors.
- New Hampshire Dental Society Foundation Dental Care Assistance – Helps income-eligible seniors access discounted dental care.
- Dartmouth-Hitchcock Dental Clinic (Lebanon) – Provides dental services to seniors on a sliding fee scale.
- Rutgers School of Dental Medicine Clinic – Offers low-cost dental services to New Jersey elderly patients.
- Broadway House for Continuing Care Dental Clinic (Newark) – Provides free on-site dental care to seniors in residence.
- New Mexico Dental Association Mission of Mercy – Hosts free dental clinics across the state, serving seniors.
- University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy Dental Clinic – Provides basic low-cost dental services to seniors in Albuquerque.
- Columbia University College of Dental Medicine Clinic – Offers reduced-cost comprehensive dental care to seniors in New York City.
- Eastman Institute for Oral Health’s Silver Sparklers (Rochester) – Delivers free dental care to homebound elderly patients.
- North Carolina Missions of Mercy – Hosts free mobile dental clinics serving disadvantaged elderly patients.
- Wake Forest University School of Dentistry Geriatric Dental Clinic – Provides affordable dental care tailored to senior patients.
- University of North Dakota School of Dentistry and Dental Hygiene – Serves seniors at substantially reduced student rates.
- North Dakota Dental Foundation Donated Dental Services – Links elderly patients with volunteer dentists statewide.
- Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine clinics – Provide dental services to Cleveland area seniors at reduced student rates.
- Ohio Dental Association Mission of Mercy – Hosts free dental clinics across Ohio focused on underserved seniors.
- University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry Sooner Dental Clinic – Offers discounted dental care tailored to elderly patients.
- Mary Abbott Children’s House Dental Clinic (Norman) – Nonprofit clinic providing free basic dental services to low-income seniors.
- Medical Teams International Dental Van Program – Brings free mobile dental clinics to underserved seniors and veterans.
- Oregon Health Sciences University Dental Clinics – Provide low-cost dental services to seniors and special needs patients in Portland.
- Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry Clinic – Offers discounted comprehensive dental treatment for Philadelphia area seniors.
- United Healthcare Children’s Foundation Grants – Help cover dental care costs for underinsured Pennsylvania seniors.
- Rhode Island Dental Association Foundation Donated Dental Services – Connects disadvantaged seniors with volunteer dentists.
- University of Rhode Island Dental Hygiene Clinic – Provides low-cost preventive dental care to seniors statewide.
- Medical University of South Carolina College of Dental Medicine clinics – Offer reduced-cost dental services, with special programs for seniors.
- Clemson University Center for Oral Health – Provides basic low-cost dental care to underserved Upstate seniors.
- Delta Dental of South Dakota Foundation Grant Program – Funds clinics providing free dental care to the elderly and disabled.
- Wiconi Wawokiya, Inc. (Fort Thompson) – Nonprofit dental clinic serving low-income Native American seniors.
- Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry Clinics (Nashville) – Provide discounted dental treatment tailored to senior patients.
- InterFaith Dental Clinic (Nashville) – Offers dental services to low-income and uninsured seniors.
- University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School Clinic – Provides low-cost dental care to disadvantaged seniors in San Antonio.
- Mission Dentistry (Fort Worth) – Charitable dental clinic focused on helping underserved seniors.
- University of Utah School of Dentistry Geriatric Dental Program – Serves Salt Lake City seniors through discounted dental care and home visits.
- Utah Dental Association Foundation Dental Care Assistance – Helps connect qualified low-income seniors with free dental care.
- Vermont State Dental Society Donated Dental Services – Links volunteer dentists to uninsured, disabled, and elderly Vermonters in need.
- University of Vermont Medical Center Dental Clinic (Burlington) – Provides dental services to seniors on a sliding fee scale.
- Virginia Dental Association Foundation Mission of Mercy Projects – Host free mobile dental clinics providing care to underserved seniors.
- Western Tidewater Free Clinic (Suffolk) – Offers free basic dental services to uninsured seniors and others in need.
- University of Washington School of Dentistry Geriatric Dentistry Clinic – Provides specialized affordable dental care tailored to seniors in Seattle.
- Community Health Care Dental Clinic (Tacoma) – Serves
- West Virginia University School of Dentistry clinics – Provide low-cost dental care to Morgantown area seniors on a sliding fee scale.
- Milan Puskar Health Right Dental Clinic (Morgantown) – Offers free dental services to uninsured and underserved West Virginians including the elderly.
- Marquette University School of Dentistry Clinic – Provides discounted dental services to Milwaukee area low-income seniors.
- Community Dental Clinics Throughout Wisconsin – Offer basic dental care and dentures to disadvantaged seniors on Medicaid.
- University of Wyoming College of Health Sciences Dental Hygiene Clinic – Serves seniors in Laramie at reduced rates.
- Wyoming Dental Association Mission of Mercy – Hosts free mobile dental clinics focused on underserved populations including the elderly.
Applying for Medical Grants to Cover Dental Needs
In some cases, seniors may be able to access medical grants and funding sources to help pay for critical dental care, especially if their oral health condition is affecting their overall health. Some options include:
- State and local programs that assist low-income seniors with medical expenses can sometimes be used for dental treatments.
- Medicaid waivers such as hospice and home care programs may offer dental benefits for qualifying seniors in certain states.
- Grants are available through some disease-focused nonprofits like the Alzheimer’s Association and American Cancer Society that can cover dental care costs for seniors battling those conditions.
- Regional health foundations and hospital community benefit programs occasionally provide dental health grants for local underserved populations.
Seniors should explore all possible resources when trying to fund needed dental treatments. Thinking broadly and creatively about funding assistance can help unlock additional dental grant opportunities.
Poor oral health can severely impact seniors’ nutrition, speech, self-esteem, and overall health. However many older Americans cannot afford critical dental procedures like cleanings, dentures, fillings, and more on a fixed income. Dental grants help fill this gap by providing millions of dollars to fund free or discounted dental services through dental schools, clinics, charities, and government programs.
Seniors in need of financial assistance to access dental care should research the options available in their state and locality. With persistence and dedication to finding help, many seniors can get grants to fully or partially cover their dental treatment costs. Proper dental care is vital for seniors’ health and quality of life, and dental grants make it possible for those who otherwise couldn’t afford 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.