The Bay State, as Massachusetts is popularly known, is a great retirement state. Neighboring industrial and famous states like New York and Connecticut, Massachusetts has a variety of outdoor activities that seniors can enjoy. Besides, it has low unemployment rates and senior-friendly taxes, which can be a plus for seniors still interested in working and making a living. Being elderly has challenges, including loss of financial independence, low income, dental-related problems, and immunity compromise. Oral health is a problem for older adults because of conditions or medication that may affect their dental health and financial constraints that make dental care services inaccessible to them.
Since this problem is here to stay, state, local and federal governments, authorities, private dentists and clinics, and non-profit organizations are working day and night to ensure dental care services are reachable for economically challenged individuals and families.
Are Dental Grants Legit in Massachusetts?
In 2019, statistics showed 45.1% of dental costs settlement is out-of-pocket, and 16.6% of citizens in Massachusetts could not meet their dental care because of finances. For this reason, in 2021, the Fiscal Year 2021 Massachusetts budget allowed for MassHealth coverage to settle root canal and crown costs in adults. The shortage of dental professionals is another challenge facing the oral healthcare system in Massachusetts. There are 78 dentists for every 100,000 patients, and only 44.8% of them accept MassHealth cover. As part of the plan to increase the accessibility of dental care, administrators increased MassHealth payments for dental care services at Federally Qualified Community Health Centers by 65%.
The Dental Lifeline Network, Delta Dental of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) Foundation, charitable organizations, and Baker-Polito administration allot funds to programs and projects expanding access to oral health care.
How to Get Financial Help for Dental in Massachusetts
Dental grants in Massachusetts are awarded to organizations with projects that better the oral health care of ignored families, individuals, and communities. People with lifelong disabilities, those who lack the means of paying for dental treatment, seniors over 65, and medically compromised patients qualify for dental grants offered by Donated Dental Services.
Dental Grants: Dental grants are not awarded to individuals but to programs that offer teeth fillings, whitening, crowns, dentures, and caps to seniors, people with disability, pregnant women, and low-income earners.
Cosmetic Dental Grants: Cosmetic dental grants lack eligibility criteria because individuals choose to have the procedures performed on them. With a confirmation from your dentist that your mouth is healthy and can handle the treatment, you are eligible for a CDG. While at your dentist, you may double-check that your grant covers cosmetic dental treatments because not all do.
Dental Implant Grants: Dental implants are as costly as cosmetic dentistry. Most insurance companies lack dental coverage, including dental implants. Dental implant grants are the silver lining for undeserving citizens to receive these high-cost treatments for free or at reduced prices.
Free Dental Implant Clinical Trials: Research has made it possible for dental professionals to innovate more efficient and safer treatments for dental problems. Clinical trials test whether new drugs, dental procedures, and equipment meet the expectations and standards set. Patient participation in these trials is voluntary. The risks and effects of the procedures are explained in detail to interested participants before they make any decision. Clinical trials provide free or reduced-cost dental implants to seniors who can’t pay for them. Not everyone is eligible for these clinical trials, only patients with particular dental conditions of interest to the study. If you want to look at completed or ongoing dental implant clinical trials, you can go through the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Dentistry Schools: It is a requirement for students to handle real patients with actual dental problems for them to get licensed. Dentistry schools run dental clinics where students serve seniors, pregnant women, and low-income individuals for free or at affordable charges. Licensed dentists supervise students for patients’ safety.
The Tufts University of Dental Medicine has programs that increase access to dental care services and creates awareness of oral health among veterans. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene receives funding from MDS Foundation to increase awareness of oral health through education and for examinations, treatments, and assessments to underprivileged communities.
Are There Local Organisations/ Charities that Help with Dental Costs?
HopeHealth: HopeHealth is committed to offering medical care to elders, mostly those facing terminal illnesses. The charitable organization has a program that dispenses low-cost dental care to older adults.
The Friends of Dennis Senior Citizens: The Friends of Dennis Senior citizens provide financial assistance to seniors to pay for dental care, medical bills, home repairs, and other needs. They are also sponsors and donors to agencies with projects that help seniors in Massachusetts.
Free or Low-Cost Dental Clinics Near Me in Massachussetts
Massachusetts has about 59 free or reduced-cost dental clinics that offer dental care services for free, at sliding scale charges or low costs to seniors, children, and ignored populations. Not all clinics are free of charge. Some require a small payment for tests and X-rays.
- CHA Dental Services- Cambridge
- Upham’s Corner Health Center- Boston
- Tufts Dental Facility- Worcester
- Gloucester Family Health Center- Gloucester
- All Pro Dental- Revere
Alternatively, you may search for “Free dental clinics near me” to get a list of free or low-cost clinics to help you find the one nearest to you.
Does Medicare Pay for Dental Implants in Massachusetts?
For those with Medicare coverage, Original Medicare (Part A and B) does not cover dental costs, including dental implants. Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans may cover dental care as added benefits at an extra fee for coinsurance. However, this dental plan has a dental benefit amount limit. If you want to figure out which healthcare option is the best fit for you, it’s important to compare Medicare and private health insurance. This way, you can find the one that works better for your specific healthcare needs.
Are There Grants/Programs for Helping with Teeth Cleaning, Fillings, Decays and Root Canal Costs?
Donated Dental Services: The DDS of Massachusetts has 75 volunteer dentists and 35 laboratories that have served 173 patients since 2005 and provided $900,000 worth of treatments to eligible patients in undeserving areas.
Elder Dental: Elder Dental is a program by HopeHealth that offers cleanings, root canals, fillings, extractions, and diagnoses to uninsured seniors above 60.
MassHealth: The MassHealth program offers dental coverage to senior citizens enrolled in Senior Care Options (SCO).
Assistance for Seniors in Massachusetts
You will receive the following benefits as a senior in Massachusetts:
- Free food
- Veteran grants
- Help with utility bills
- Transportation assistance
- Home repair grants
- Health-related benefits
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is federal financial aid offered to seniors above 65 with limited resources to meet their shelter, food, and clothing needs. Massachusetts runs the State Supplement Program (SSP) that provides additional financial support to seniors who qualify for SSI.
The benefits of dental grants to ignored individuals are undisputed. Oral healthcare promotion will reduce the burden on the Massachusetts health system. More programs, projects, policies, and laws should be considered to eliminate socio-economic barriers that limit access to oral healthcare.