Are you a fan of crab cakes? Maryland is the state for you. But apart from these treats, what makes Maryland fabulous for seniors? The various outdoor activities you can enjoy, top-notch healthcare systems, and a well-working economy thanks to the different factories. Living in Maryland can be challenging for seniors without an active income because of the high cost of living in this state. For this reason, basic needs and amenities are expensive for economically challenged populations.
Oral health care is one of the resources that may be challenging for the underprivileged to access. Although necessary, many Marylanders, especially seniors, have had to ignore dental care due to financial constraints. The state, local, and federal governments, administrators, charitable organizations, and private dentists provide these services to those who can’t afford them. Oral healthcare is healthcare too, so it is necessary to set up programs to better the oral health of Marylanders. Dental grants for seniors are a step in the right direction to bringing beautiful smiles to their faces.
Are Dental Grants for Seniors Real?
Dental grants in Maryland are awarded to ensure better oral health among Marylanders, especially those that cannot pay for dental care services. Statistically, more than 35000 patients are benefactors of the various dental programs available in Maryland. This number proves the continuous need for these projects and programs to promote the health of Marylanders by making their oral health a priority.
The Maryland State Dental Association, Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC), Maryland Department of Health, American Dental Association, Maryland Foundation of Dentistry, and Dental Lifeline Network allot grants to programs that provide and ensure access to no- or reduced-cost dental care to patients above 18 who are living with permanent disabilities or lack the means of paying for treatment.
How to Get Financial Help for Dental in Maryland
Ensuring everyone has fair access to high-quality and affordable dental care services is no easy task. For now, only patients who meet set criteria to qualify for dental grants. Seniors can benefit by receiving free or low-cost dental services but may be required to pay small fees for lab work and X-rays. Your application will only be approved if:
- You have no means of paying for treatment
- You are living with a lifelong disability
- You are medically unwell (mentally or physically)
- You are 18 or older (above 65 years)
These grants do not cover emergency services, qualifying depends on if you already have private dental insurance coverage, and you can only benefit once from these programs.
If you’re interested in applying for a dental grant, you can start by filling out this form or this one if you are a veteran. You can make your application to Will You See One Vet (WYSOV) or Donated Dental Services (DDS) at Dental Lifeline Networks. Then book an appointment with your local dentist for a dental examination to get a report for approval.
Dental Grants: Dental grants are awarded to programs that provide dental care services to low-income earners who can’t afford dental treatment, older adults above 65, and medically compromised individuals. Anyone eligible qualifies for this grant once their dentist approves.
Cosmetic Dental Grants: These grants cover dentures, bridges, cleaning, whitening, veneers, crowns, gum lifts, and Invisalign. Not all dental grants cover cosmetic dental treatments, so make sure you speak with your dentist for confirmation.
Dental Implant Grants: Dental implants can be a financial burden on someone who cannot afford this particular dental treatment. The good news is dental implant grants are available to cover the costs of high-cost dental implants. Some programs offer them for free while others at a discount, but be prepared to pay a small fee if needed for x-rays and tests.
Free Dental Implant Clinical Trials: Participating in a clinical trial is a personal choice. Although you will benefit from these trials, the uncertainties of not knowing the outcomes of the clinical trial may discourage patients from participating in them. However, strict rules and guidelines are followed, coupled with supervision by licensed dentists for patients’ safety.
Seniors with specific dental conditions under study are eligible for dental clinical trials. These trials enable research on new treatments, medications, and equipment to help discover new methods of diagnosing, curing, and preventing dental-related problems. You can visit the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research to learn more about completed and ongoing clinical trials.
Are There Charities or Local Organizations that Help with Dental Costs?
Maryland Foundation of Dentistry: The Maryland Foundation of Dentistry has programs that provide access to dental care treatments, including prostheses, to undeserving areas. There also exist several other charitable organizations that offer aid to seniors.
Catholic Charities of Washington, DC: The Catholic Charities of Washington DC offer programs that provide dental care in medical and dental clinics to families and communities in need of better dental care. Their Spanish Catholic Center dispenses preventive, diagnostic, emergency and restorative dental treatments to uninsured patients at reduced costs. There are additional churches that also have programs designed to assist seniors.
Low-cost Or Free Dental Clinics Near Me in Maryland
Free dental clinics are funded by charitable or non-profit organizations. They are run by volunteer dentists who offer affordable, low-cost, free, or sliding-scale services to individuals who cannot afford dental care services.
- Anne Arundel County Department of Health- Glen Burnie
- The Mission of Mercy- Frederick
- Maryland Foundation-Dentistry- Columbia
- University of Maryland School of Dentistry- Baltimore
- Health Care for the Homeless- Baltimore
To help you find free or low-cost dental clinics, you may do a web search asking “free dental clinics near me“.
Which Medicare Plan Has the Best Dental Coverage?
The original Medicare Plan (Plan A) and Plan B do not cover dental costs. Your best bet for dental coverage is the Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C). This plan offers additional coverage for vision, hearing, dental, and prescription drugs. Furthermore, it costs more since private insurance companies are the providers and has a dental benefit amount limit. If you’re wondering whether to go for Medicare or private health insurance, assessing the differences between the two can definitely help you figure out which one will better fit your healthcare needs.
Are There Programs/ Grants that Help with Fillings, Cleanings, Decay and Root Canal Costs?
Donated Dental Services: The DDS in Maryland has 437 volunteer dentists and 142 laboratories offering free or reduced-cost dental treatments, including fillings, cleanings, etc., to eligible seniors. The program doesn’t provide emergency services due to the long waiting lists.
Anne Arundel Dental Access Program (AADAP): Uninsured and underinsured seniors in Anne Arundel County can get the cost of their dental treatments reduced by up to 25% through the AADAP. The program will offer eligible elderly specific cards they can present at their local dentist’s office, which expires after a year and will need renewal.
Mission of Mercy: The Mission of Mercy is a two-day event run by volunteer dentists from all over the state who provide preventive treatment on a first-come-first-served basis to anyone willing to attend these clinics.
Supplemental Security Income is monthly cash assistance given to seniors above 65 to help them meet their basic needs, and the amount awarded is determined by the senior’s income and assets.
Public Assistance to Adults (PAA) is a program that assists the elderly in senior facilities under the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) to pay and settle any costs they may incur. Seniors who have applied for SSI and whose cost of care exceeds their income are eligible for this program. Your assets and individual care needs will determine the amount you will receive. The senior citizens in Maryland receive transportation aid, home repair grants, free food, health-related resources, veteran grants, and help to pay utility bills.