Maine is a comfortable state for seniors because of its low crime rates and numerous health benefits provided by the state authorities. Moreover, it has the highest number of veterans living in the state, proving its welcoming nature for seniors and veterans. The summers are mild, meaning cooling requires little effort. There can be storms in the winter that can be extreme. The state and local governments have programs that offer heating services in the extreme winters for seniors. Other than adverse weather conditions, seniors may go through challenges brought on by aging, which may require external intervention. Oral health deterioration is one of those challenges.
As a senior, you may experience dental-related problems like gum diseases, tooth decays, teeth sensitivity, etc. In some cases, the dental problems are life-threatening and require immediate dental care. The costs of dental treatments are high-priced, making the disadvantaged elderly ignore their oral health due to a lack of finances. In this case, there is a need for projects and programs to mitigate this challenge.
The deteriorating oral health of seniors in need can worsen their overall health straining the state’s healthcare system. Dental-related problems adversely affect people’s confidence and ability to work effectively, affecting the economy. Programs and projects offering free or reduced-cost dental care should be prioritized to ensure the smooth running of health systems and economic growth.
Are Dental Grants For Seniors Real?
Dental grants are awarded to ensure that the ignored populations can access rather expensive dental treatments. Because oral health plays a significant role in an individual’s overall health, local organizations, private dentists, administrators, and charitable groups prioritize oral health by awarding dental grants to programs that provide dental care services to the less fortunate in Maine.
Seniors above 65 who cannot afford dental treatments are eligible for dental grants. The Dental Lifeline Network has a program, Donated Dental Services (DDS), where volunteer dentists offer free or reduced-cost dental treatment to the underprivileged in Maine. The Maine Dental Association, America Dental Association, and Northeast Delta Dental Foundation are part of the team working to ensure dental care is available to all Mainers.
Northeast Delta Dental Foundation is a part of Northeast Delta Dental, whose goal is to administer benefits to groups, individuals, and communities with no company-sponsored dental coverage by sponsoring dental insurance programs. This foundation believes that all people deserve healthy smiles.
How to Get Financial Help for Dental in Maine
Dental grants are not awarded to individuals but to programs that offer affordable dental services to the underprivileged. Your local health center is the best place to start when looking for a dental grant. The volunteer dentists there can explain where to find dental grants, which programs help with covering dental costs, and what benefits you can enjoy from programs that provide free or low-cost dental services. For seniors above 65 years with no means of affording dental treatments, they can apply for dental grants through the Dental Lifeline Network by filling out this form online.
Dental Grants: The services covered through dental grants are teeth fillings, whitening, crowns, dentures, crowns, and caps, etc.
Cosmetic Dental Grants: Cosmetic dental grants only cover elective procedures hence why they lack eligibility criteria. Once confirmed that your mouth can handle the cosmetic dental procedure you wish to have, you qualify to receive a CDG. Because not all grants cover cosmetic dental treatments, you need to speak to your program dentist on the same. Cosmetic dental treatments covered by CDG include veneers, crowns, caps, Invisalign, dentures, etc.
Dental Implant Grants: Dental implants are costly but a worthy investment. For this reason, dental implant grants are awarded to individuals who cannot afford this treatment for a fair opportunity to receive oral healthcare services.
Free Dental Implant Clinical Trials: Over the years, dental treatments have advanced from simple treatments to more complex and effective procedures. This advancement has been possible due to clinical trials that enable research on dental-related conditions, medications, equipment, and methods to ensure the provision of the highest quality dental care services.
Patients suffering from specific dental conditions are eligible for these clinical trials. Dental implants are offered to participants for free or at reduced costs, making them accessible to those who can’t afford them. Sometimes, people get paid to participate in these clinical trials. If you wish to learn more about dental clinical trials for Mainers, you can check out the clinical trials run by the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Dentistry Schools: To enable students to experience handling real patients and dental problems, dentistry schools have dental clinics where students dispense affordable and low-cost services to seniors, pregnant women, people living with disabilities, and low-income families. The procedures are carried out under the strict supervision of licensed dentists for safety.
The UNE College of Dental Medicine has a dental clinic that offers sliding-scale services. They offer preventative dental services to Mainers to give back to the community.
Are There Charities/ Local Organizations that Help with Dental Costs?
Local organizations and charities like Catholic Charities offer financial assistance to the needy to help them settle their bills and meet their basic needs. Moreover, these organization award grants to programs that provide free or reduced-cost dental treatment to seniors, children, and low and middle-class families.
Free or Low-Cost Dental Clinics Near Me in Maine
Volunteer dentists and dental schools run free or low-cost dental clinics that provide affordable, reduced-cost, or sliding-scale services to the ignored communities in Maine. This state has around 26 free or low-cost dental clinics, although not all are free.
- Community Dental- Portland, Lewiston
- UNE Oral Health Center- Portland
- Strong Area Dental Center- Strong
- Caring Hands of Maine Dental Center- Ellsworth
- Oasis Free Clinic- Brunswick
Does Medicare Pay for Dental Implants?
Dental implants are very costly, explaining why many insurance companies do not cover dental costs. Medicare, like the rest, does not cover any dental charges, including dental implants. The best Medicare Plan for dental coverage is the Medicare Advantage Plan. Although it may cover your dental costs, you will pay an extra charge for this plan, and it has a dental benefit amount limit. Understanding the distinctions between Medicare and private health insurance is essential in choosing the healthcare option that best meets your requirements.
Are There Grants/Programs that Help with Fillings, Cleanings, Decay and Root Canal Costs?
Donated Dental Services (DDS): DDS has 158 volunteer dentists and 19 laboratories, has served 1,621 patients since 1991 and has provided $5.8 million worth of donated treatment in Maine. The DDS dispenses comprehensive care for free or at a reduced cost. The services offered are cleanings, decays, fillings, extractions, dental examinations, root canals, etc.
HealthReach Affordable Care: The Strong Dental Center’s program HealthReach Affordable Care offers dental care services for $50 while the rest is settled by the program to eligible seniors. If you provide proof of income or documents that show you’re receiving financial aid from other programs, you can benefit from this program.
MaineCare: In 2021, Maine’s Medicaid program, MaineCare, included dental benefits to their coverage for adults. Before, only those in significant pain would have their dental costs covered. This change was made under the belief that dental care is health care.
Supplemental Security Income is a monthly stipend given to seniors above 65 to help them meet their needs. The amount awarded depends on one’s income and the value of their assets. You may ask “What Other Forms Of Help Do Seniors Receive In Maine?” Mainers receive veteran grants, health-related assistance, home repair grants, help to pay bills, free food and transportation assistance.