When you think of Alaska, the picture that comes to mind is of cold winters and beautiful mountains covered in snow. Although the state is not the cheapest to live in, real estate is low-cost. Seniors may find housing costs affordable, but they may experience other challenges.
Dental-related conditions are rampant in the elderly because of age, and treatment costs are too expensive. Low-income older citizens and retirees require financial assistance to ensure their oral health is a problem to worry about.
They say a smile a day keeps disease at bay. In the cold streets of Alaska, a breath-taking smile is what you need to warm up someone’s day. The state and federal government and other sponsors fund programs that offer free or low-cost dental treatment to undeserving citizens of Alaska.
Are There Grants For Dental In Alaska?
Older adults above 65 with little to low income are eligible for dental care treatment. The Donated Dental Services (DDS), a program by Dental Lifeline Network, is a group of volunteer dentists who provide free and subsidized services to the needy in Alaska.
The DDS also has laboratories for tests and experiments at little cost. Seniors who can afford treatment pay a stipend for services offered. In 2021’s DDS report, the program had 95 volunteer dentists and 17 volunteer labs that served 52 patients in Alaska.
The DDS does not provide emergency services or cosmetic treatments.
How To Get Financial Help For Dental In Alaska
Dental grants are awarded to programs run by a government or non-profit organizations to increase the accessibility of high-quality dental care to marginalized areas. Here are some dental grants awarded in Alaska to help seniors with dental costs:
Organizations, state governments, and NGOs award these grants to help individuals that require personalized care in ignored communities. The services one can get through these grants are whitening, preventive care, dentures, and crowns.
Cosmetic Dental Grants
One big challenge for senior citizens is keeping their teeth healthy. However, a bigger challenge is the high cost involved in dental care. Cosmetic Dentistry grants reduce the costs of contouring, dentures, bridges, veneers, and Invisalign.
Dental Implant Grants In Alaska
Some dental grants awarded cover dental implant costs. Before applying for such grants, ensure you speak to your dentist carrying out your assessment for confirmation.
Dental Schools offer free dental treatment to individuals who cannot afford dental services as a way of giving back to the community. Also, there are newer and better ways to treat dental problems, hence these programs act as a good opportunity for research.
The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) has annual dental days that offer high-quality dental treatments to individuals on a budget. Dental assistants, dentists, staff, and UAA dentistry students volunteer their skills for this event. The services provided include cleaning, x-rays, dental exams, sealants, etc.
The services provided by dental schools are offered by students under the supervision of licensed dentists to ensure the safety of patients.
Find information on clinical trials in Alaska here.
Are There Charities That Help With Dental Costs?
The financial burden of dental costs is too much for the state or federal government to carry on its own. Charities and local organizations have stepped in and offered financial assistance to the underprivileged to help cover medical expenses.
Despite offering financial assistance, the help is not given directly through individuals, but funding is awarded to dental clinics and community health centers to enable them to offer subsidized services.
Are There Free Or Low Cost Dental Clinics In Alaska?
There are free or low-cost dental clinics in Alaska offering affordable services to undeserving Alaskans. Free dental care is dispensed to Alaskans with no insurance coverage and those that don’t qualify for Medicaid or Medicare.
Services offered at free dental clinics include:
- Gum surgery
- Teeth Whitening
- Dental Implants
- Crowns and caps
- Cavity treatment
- Filling and repairs
Fairview Health Center
This clinic is found in Anchorage and serves Alaskans with an income of 200% below poverty guidelines. You can determine your poverty level by using the Alaska Updated 2023 Federal Poverty Level Calculator. The subsidized services include dental examinations, emergency dental treatments, endodontics, fluoride treatment, sealants, etc.
The health centers are in Big Lake, Anchorage, and Wasilla. The health center’s costs depend on the family’s size and income. Also, they have a price transparency system that tells older adults the pricing and discounts they are eligible for based on their income and assets. They serve both insured and uninsured Alaskans.
The free clinic is in Fairbanks, Alaska, and serves individuals and families who live at 200% to 300% of the federal poverty level. Moreover, it operates under a sliding fee scale model, meaning services may not be 100% free. Free and low-cost services are offered on a need basis.
The federal government funds the clinic, and uninsured Alaskans can receive services.
You can search more to get information on free clinics, low-cost affordable dental clinics, non-profit dental clinics, and sliding fee scale clinics in Alaska.
Does Medicare Cover Dental Implants In Alaska?
Medicare plans do not cover dental implants. The Original Medicare (Part A) and Part B offer only hospital and medical coverage, respectively. Only in cases of hospitalization will Medicare indirectly cover the dental cost. Medicare Part A may cover admission costs, while Medicare part B may cover prescription medication costs purchased separately.
Medicare Advantage will help with dental costs, although you get it at an extra fee for coinsurance, and it has a dental benefit amount limit.
Are There Programs That Help With Fillings And Decay?
Local organizations and foundations award grants to fund programs that provide services to meet the needs of Alaskans. Some programs help with simple dental procedures like fillings, tooth decays, root canals, and cleanings.
Free dental clinics are some of the programs that offer free or low-cost simple dental care to older adults in Alaska. All you need to do is visit the nearest free clinic, and find out about the dental grants they receive and what discounts you can benefit from thanks to their programs.
Do Seniors In Alaska Receive Any Other Assistance?
Seniors in Alaska have a variety of assistance avenues. These include state resources, transportation assistance, health-related help, free food, home repair grants, and help with utility bills. Additional help for seniors in Alaska have been established. It is recommended to inquire with your local community organizations to discover what other services may be accessible in your vicinity.
The Senior Benefits Program offers financial help to low and moderate-income seniors above 65 to meet their basic needs. Depending on your income, you will receive a $76, $175, or $250 monthly stipend based on the Alaska Federal Poverty Guidelines.
For more information on this program, check here.
The Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) also provides the Alaska Temporary Assistance Program (ATAP), financial assistance to economically challenged seniors. ATAP is a subprogram of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
ATAP is provided for five years to elderly citizens whose resources are worth less than $3,000, excluding some vehicles, household items, housing, and personal property. The subprogram also gives employment opportunities to promote independence and self-sufficiency.
Alaska Commission of Aging provides employment opportunities and monetary assistance to senior residents to improve the economic independence of seniors in Alaska.
Alaska has so many resources for you as a senior to face one of the biggest challenges that come with age, dental diseases. Older adults can now get proper dental care without worrying about their finances. Didn’t this make you warmer?