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Do Students Get Free Dental Care?

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: January 31, 2024

You may be wondering if there is any free dental care available for students. After all, regular dental checkups are important for maintaining good oral health. The American Dental Association recommends that children receive a dental check-up every six months.

However, only approximately 44% of children aged 2–17 years have visited a dentist in the past year. The average dental check-up cost for children aged 6–11 years was $60, making it optional for most parents. Access to affordable or free dental care is crucial if we want students to enjoy better oral health.

Let's look at ways for students to get free dental care.

Importance Of Dental Care

Dental care is so important to our overall health and well-being. Without proper dental hygiene, most people would suffer from dental cavities, gum disease, or worse. Taking the time to brush, floss, and visit the dentist regularly can help avoid these problems by catching any dental issues early on. 

Not only is dental care beneficial for physical health reasons — it also improves our self-confidence when we have a bright smile we can be proud of. Unfortunately, most kids suffer from bad dental hygiene and deteriorating teeth. In the United States, approximately 15% of children aged 6–11 years have untreated tooth decay. 

Access to dental care is important to correct these circumstances. 

Do Students Get Free Dental Care

Schools That Offer Cheap Or Free Dental Care To Students

Unfortunately, in the United States, most states do not provide free dental care for students. But some schools offer free or low-cost dental care to students through school-based dental clinics. Some states also provide dental care for students through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). 

In some states, however, free dental care is available for students through Medicaid, the Department of Health and Human Services, or the Department of Education. Some states also offer dental care for students through private dental insurance plans. 

Check with your local health department to see if these options are available.

Schools That Offer Cheap Or Free Dental Care To Students

These schools offer cheap or free dental care. Check them out if you're near them. 

  • University of Michigan School of Dentistry: There are three clinics to choose from when you visit the University of Michigan School of Dentistry: Student Clinics, Graduate Clinics, and Special Clinics. Dental students under supervision work in these clinics to provide various dental services. 
  • University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry: UCSF offers three kinds of dental services depending on who will perform the procedure: students, residents, or faculty dentists. Fees get higher the more experienced a dentist is at providing the service.
  • Harvard School of Dental Medicine: Harvard Dental Center provides comprehensive dental care, including dental hygiene, general dentistry, implants, prosthodontics, endodontics, periodontics, oral pathology, and others. 
  • University of North Carolina Adams School of Dentistry: UNC provides affordable dental services through the Carolina Dentistry program, which offers routine cleanings to complex oral surgery. 
  • New York University College of Dentistry: NYU offers patient care for people with disabilities and those with special needs. They offer general dentistry, oral cancer services, and comprehensive oral health care.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you still have further questions, check out the following frequently asked ones below:

At what age do you get free dental treatment?

Getting dental care can be costly, and, unfortunately, in the United States, free dental treatment is available only for qualified low-income individuals. This means you must apply and qualify for dental grants to get free dental treatment. But most health insurance covers dental costs and will allow you to get the oral care you need.

What is the cheapest state to get dental work done?

Several states offer cheap dental work. These are Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Kentucky, and Tennessee. On the other hand, the states with the most expensive dental procedures are Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Vermont. If you think dental care is too expensive, you can check out available dental grants for individuals to help defray some of the costs.

How much is dental insurance in New York?

When it comes to dental care in New York, dental insurance is something that many patients ask about. It's important to remember that dental insurance coverage varies greatly based on individual policies and the type of plan you choose. With so many factors to consider, selecting an affordable dental insurance plan can feel daunting.

Fortunately, various dental insurance plans available throughout New York allow individuals to get the dental care they need without breaking the bank. Before signing up for a dental insurance plan, research and compare which providers offer the best overall value for your unique needs.

Dental care is essential at any age. However, they can be expensive, especially if you need complex procedures. With the options provided above, hopefully, you can find affordable dental care and be on your way to healthier teeth. If you need another cheap option, you can go for dental schools offering cheap or free dental implants instead.

Want to learn more about free dental care? Check out our article about pro-bono dental care.

Do you need a dental implant? Find out the cost of a single tooth implant in this blog. 

Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.
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