Dental Grants in Iowa

Iowa is a beautiful state making it an attraction for people. Moreover, it has a low cost of living compared to other states and affordable housing and rents for Iowans. The taxes are senior-friendly, the insecurity levels are low, and commodities are cheaper here, so they are acquirable even to disadvantaged families, children, and older adults. Despite being a safe and comfortable state for seniors, other resources are unaffordable and may require external help to increase their availability. Dental care is one of the resources that the elderly facing financial constraints due to lack of active income may find difficult to access.

For this reason, several resources and programs have been set up in Iowa to ensure dental care services are available to the undeserving population.

Are Dental Grants Legit?

Dental grants are legit in Iowa. Non-profit organizations, foundations, and the government award them to promote the accessibility of dental care services to underprivileged families, seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income earners. Volunteer dentists receive this monetary assistance for programs that offer free or reduced-cost oral care.

Dental Lifeline Network, Iowa Dental Association, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and not-for-profit organizations fund programs and resources that offer free or reduced-cost dental treatment to seniors. These organizations also give scholarships to students interested in pursuing dentistry, establish programs that increase the accessibility of dental services to marginalized areas, and raise awareness of dental hygiene practices to promote the oral health of the citizens of Iowa.

How to Get Financial Help for Dental

The Dental Lifeline Network’s Donated Dental Services (DDS) dispenses treatment to seniors over 65. The DDS helps individuals who:

  • Require immediate dental care
  • Have lifelong disabilities
  • Cannot afford dental treatments
  • Are seniors over the age of 65

Volunteer dentists offer comprehensive treatments like fillings, cleaning, crowns, and extractions but do not provide emergency treatments or cosmetic dental procedures. Applications can be sent through the Dental Lifeline Network page. Seniors can now fill out the form accurately because there is a step-to-step guide on how to fill it out on the website to eliminate mistakes in the process.

Dental Schools: Non-profit organizations fund dental schools where there is an opportunity for students to offer dental care services to actual patients before they are licensed. Services are affordable to disadvantaged individuals and are part of the school’s community outreach. Students dispense therapeutic and restorative treatment under the supervision of licensed dentists.

Dental Grants: Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation funds organizations, academic institutions, and governments running projects to promote the oral health of Iowans. The funds awarded are tax-exempted programs that carry out research, education, and dental care, all geared toward supporting and promoting oral health.

Cosmetic Dental Grants: Cosmetic dental treatments like Invisalign, veneers, crowns and caps, dentures, etc., are expensive to undeserving Iowans. Their price tags scare off seniors who need the procedures but can’t afford them due to lack of an active income. In this regard, cosmetic dental grants are an assistance option for older adults to help cover the costs of cosmetic dental treatments.

Since cosmetic dental procedures are a choice, no eligibility criteria are set for them. All you need is confirmation from your dentist that your mouth is healthy for a cosmetic dental procedure. Some dental grants do not cover cosmetic dental procedures. Double-check with your volunteer dentist to ensure your dental grant covers these procedures before you make an application.

Dental Implant Grants: Dental implants, like cosmetic dental treatments, are costly. However, they are worth the investment. By this virtue, not-for-profit organizations, governments, and foundations award dental implant grants to make sure even low-income earners can afford these dental treatments.

Free Dental Implant Clinical Trials: Free dental implant clinical trials are a lifesaver for seniors on a budget as they provide affordable, high-quality implants. Clinical trials test the safety and efficiency of new treatment methods, equipment, and drugs used in dental works. For additional information on completed and upcoming clinical trials in Iowa, visit the  website.

Charities that Help with Dental Costs

Iowa Mission of Mercy: The mission of Mercy is a two-day free clinic that gathers volunteer dentists and dental clinics to offer dental treatments to patients on a first-come-first-served basis.

Free or Low-Cost Dental Clinics

Volunteer dentists run free or low-cost dental clinics in Iowa. These clinics offer preventive and restorative dental treatments at no- or sliding-scale charges. Here are a few free or low-cost dental clinics available in Iowa:

  1. Community Health Free Clinic- Cedar Rapids
  2. Dental Center of North Iowa- Mason City
  3. Community Health Center- Fort Dodge
  4. Community Health Care, Dental Clinic- Davenport
  5. The University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics- Iowa City

Does Medicare Pay For Dental Implants?

The price of Invisalign ranges from $3000 to $6,000, veneers cost $450 up to $2,400 per tooth, and dental implant prices range from $2800 to $4,500 per implant in Iowa. These prices are extravagant, explaining the lack of coverage by insurance companies. It’s no different with Medicare which doesn’t cover dental costs.

However, Medicare Plan A and B may cover admittance and prescription medication costs in cases of hospitalization for dental procedures. Seniors have access to other prescription assistance programs besides Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plan is the best plan for dental coverage. It comes at an extra fee for coinsurance and has a limit on the dental benefit amount.

Grants for Helping with Teeth Cleaning, Fillings, Decay and Root Canal Costs

I-Smile Silver Program: The I-Smile Silver is a program that connects seniors to different dental providers offering preventive treatments like cleanings, fillings, decays, etc., to reduce cases of minor dental problems advancing to dental emergencies. No or reduced-cost services are provided to financially challenged older adults.

Donated Dental Services: The program is of a group of volunteer dentists who have committed their skills and time to serve seniors above 65 and provide them with free dental services they couldn’t afford.

The Iowa Veteran Trust Funds: The Iowa Veteran Trust Fund is a trust fund to assist veterans, their spouses, and their families in meeting their basic needs and medical expenses. Senior veterans with liquid assets worth less than $15,000 and an income below 200% of poverty guidelines qualify for this trust fund. To calculate your poverty level, you can use the Federal Poverty Level Calculator.

Dental examinations are performed free of charge by a dentist who provides a report and treatment plan that will be submitted as part of the application.

Financial Assistance

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is federal monthly income provided to seniors above 65 to help them meet their basic needs. A maximum of $2,000 in assets is a qualification for this monetary assistance. Iowa’s Supplemental State Assistance (SSA) is additional money provided to seniors whose SSI does not meet all their needs. If you qualify for SSI, you can send an application to receive SSA.