Dental Grants in Missouri

Missouri has beautiful natural sceneries and favorable climatic conditions, making it a spectacular choice for seniors. Besides its central location and well-developed transport networks, traveling to other states take only a day. Also, the cost of living is lower than the national average, making taxes senior-friendly and housing affordable. Although Missouri sounds like an ideal spot to enjoy retirement, other challenges seniors face the beautiful scenery cannot fix. The deteriorating oral health of seniors, plus the high costs of dental care services, causes the elderly to need an extra hand to ensure they live healthy and fulfilled lives.

Are Dental Grants Legit in Missouri?

America’s Health Rankings’ statistics showed that 64.3% of seniors aged 45-64 and 62.1 % above 65 reported visiting a dentist’s office in 2022. These statistics, plus higher numbers in previous years, showed a need for an intervention to lower the prevalence of dental problems in Missouri. The causes of the increase in dental-related conditions are the lack of adequate dental professionals and financial challenges that make dental care services inaccessible.

For this reason, dental grants are awarded to ensure dental treatments are available and affordable to a maximum population in Missouri, especially ignored areas. Various private dentists, government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, and charities fund programs that provide free or reduced-cost services to economically challenged populations.

Missouri Dental Association, Dental Lifeline Network, American Dental Association, Delta Dental of Missouri, and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services are on the frontline working to provide the best quality oral healthcare to the citizens of Missouri.

How to Get Financial Help for Dental in Missouri

Organizations running different dental projects set eligibility criteria for dental grants. Dental grants are not offered to individuals but to programs serving marginalized areas. The Dental Lifeline Network’s program, Donated Dental Services, offers dental grants to applicants who:

  • Lack of the means of affording dental care services
  • Are above 65 years of age
  • Have a permanent disability
  • Are mentally or physically challenged due to medical conditions

Eligible patients can apply through the Dental Lifeline Network by filling out this form. The process is simple for seniors since it is on the website. DDS does not offer emergency or cosmetic dental care services. If you do not qualify for the grant, you will receive a denial letter.

Dental Grants: Dental grants are awarded to improve the oral health of Missourians. These grants sponsor projects that provide preventive, diagnostic, and curative dental treatments to ignored populations.

Cosmetic Dental Grants: Due to the extravagant prices of cosmetic dental treatments, most insurance companies do not offer dental coverage. For this reason, many underprivileged Missourians opt for cosmetic dental grants to enable them to receive the treatment at no or discounted costs.

Dental Implant Grants: Dental implant grants are awarded to cover the high costs of dental implants that most insurance covers do not pay for. Not all dental grants pay for a dental implant, so get a confirmation from your volunteer dentist that your dental grant pays for implants.

Free Dental Implant Clinical Trials: Non-profit organizations fund dentistry schools and universities to run clinical trials for research. There are better, safer, and more efficient ways of preventing, diagnosing, and treating dental conditions that require testing before their approval for practice. You can get dental implants for free or at discounted rates in clinical trials. Not everyone is eligible to participate in dental clinical trials. Patients with specific dental-related conditions under study are qualified to join these trials. The uncertainties of the trial’s results make most patients hesitant to be part of the research, but all the risks are communicated before the start of the process. The best part is the decision of whether or not you want to participate is yours. Before making any decisions, check the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research to learn more about completed dental clinical trials, how they run, their benefits, and the outcomes, and see ongoing ones that may interest you.

Charities that Help with Dental Costs

Missouri Mission of Mercy (MOMOM): The MOMOM is a large-scale dental clinic held for two days to provide screening, examinations, and treatments to Missourians at no cost. The services are provided on a first-come-first-serve basis by volunteer dentists. Because of the large number of people who attend this event, no emergency treatments are dispensed, and there’s no guarantee of receiving dental services.

Health Forward Foundation: The Health Forward Foundation awards grants to dental clinics with programs that strive to improve the oral health of underinsured and uninsured Missourians.

Free or Low-Cost Dental Clinics in Missouri

Missouri has over 90 free or low-cost dental clinics that serve uninsured and low-income earners in the state. Not all clinics offer free treatments, others require a small payment for X-rays and lab tests.

  1. Kansas City Free Dental Clinic- Kansas City
  2. HOPE Dental- Blue Springs
  3. Cass County Dental Clinic- Belton
  4. Big Bend Dental Care- Ballwin
  5. Access Dental & Dentures- Springfield

You can use a simple web search like “Free dental clinics near me” to locate sliding-scale fee dental clinics within and around your area for dental care services.

Does Medicare Pay for Dental Implants in Massachusetts?

Since the Original Medicare Plans (Part A and B) do not cover dental costs, seniors may have to find other alternatives to help them settle their dental bills. Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) is more convenient for seniors that need continuous dental coverage. The plan, however, is at an extra charge for coinsurance and has a dental benefit amount limit. When deciding between Medicare and private health insurance, it is important to consider your specific healthcare needs, budget, and preferences.

Programs Helping with Teeth Cleaning, Fillings, Decays and Root Canal Costs

Donated Dental Services: DDS has gathered over $9 million in donation that has funded 352 volunteer dentists and 94 labs in providing $11 million worth of treatment to more than 2,300 patients since 1999.

Financial Assistance

Supplemental Security Income is financial assistance provided, by the Federal Government, to seniors above 65 years to help them afford food, shelter, and clothes. The amount depends on an individual’s assets and income.

The Masonic Home of Missouri offers financial aid to seniors living at home or in senior facilities to help cover additional assisted living expenses and household bills. If you require this financial assistance, you can apply and send proof of the need for consideration.

Do Seniors Receive Any Other Form Of Assistance In Missouri?: Missouri provides free food, transportation, home repair grants, grants for veterans, free medical services, and help paying utility bills to their seniors.

Oral health issues are an increasing problem in seniors and require the most care to prevent untreated conditions from accelerating into major emergency concerns. Good oral health promotes a better lifestyle and reduces the burden on a state’s health system. Development of more projects and programs should be considered that prioritize the smiles of Missourians. Seniors in Missouri who need assistance beyond dental care might look into other programs like employment assistance. Learn more about Missouri’s senior grants here.