Dental Grants in North Carolina

Last Updated on April 18, 2024 by Rachel

North Carolina is a state a senior can find attractive. With its low crime rate, low taxes, and lack of taxes on Social Security retirement benefits, it offers physical and financial safety for retirees. Moreover, it has beautiful beaches, a rich history, and a good climate, ideal for older citizens. It is technologically developed, has a variety of employment opportunities, and has a low cost of living.

However, the climate can be extreme since the state is prone to hurricanes and tropical storms. The safety of older adults is threatened in search conditions and the cost of living skyrockets due to the costs of repairs. The high population growth rate causes a high demand for limited resources, which increases living expenses.

Resources need to be in place to curb the challenges in the state to make life simpler for senior citizens in North Carolina.

Are Dental Grants Legit in New Carolina?

North Carolina faces various dental challenges, and the dental healthcare system is struggling. According to statistics, 90 out of 100 counties of the state are Dental Health Shortage Areas (HPSA).

Although there has been an increase in dental providers to 5,112 in 2017, the dentist-per-population ratio is still below the national average. This shortage is due to the rising population in the state. In 2022, the number of dentists per 100,000 population was 50.4, significantly below the USA 60.6 average. Regardless of their ability to pay, the shortage of dental providers has affected the oral health of all citizens.

Moreover, residents of 87 counties of North Carolina can’t access dental care due to income, making cost a significant barrier to access to dental care. In 2020, 64.9% of seniors above 65 sought dental care services. In 2021, 3.6% of older citizens above 65 avoided dental care services due to cost, the state being slightly above the national average.

Dental grants have changed the state’s dental situation for the better. The sliding scale charges in 42 federally approved health centers have increased the accessibility of dental care to low-income patients. Public dental insurance coverage has also allowed seniors to prioritize their oral health to improve their living standards.

How to Find Help for Dental Care in North Carolina

Dental Lifeline Network, North Carolina Dental Society, and Delta Dental of Carolina are state, federal and non-profit organizations that fund programs to improve the oral health of disadvantaged areas and populations. Volunteer dentists also run free or reduced-cost dental clinics offering discounted dental services to seniors.

Dental Lifeline Network’s Donated Dental Services offers comprehensive care to seniors above 65, people with disabilities, and individuals that require medically necessary dental healthcare. You can find out more about the DDS here.

These are the dental grants available for seniors in North Carolina:

  • General Dental Grants: Over 140 labs and 340 dentists have volunteered to provide $6 million in treatment to 1,700 financially challenged patients. Non-profit organizations and charities offer these funds as a form of humanitarian support.
  • Cosmetic Dental Grants: because of the high cost of cosmetic procedures, CDGs have been set aside to ensure fair access to these treatments for ignored populations and areas.
  • Dental Implant Grants: Your local dentist can tell you of programs available that offer free or discounted dental implants.
  • Dental Schools: In 2021, The University of North Carolina Adams School of Dentistry was ranked the second-best dental school in the world. Dental schools run dental clinics where supervised students can provide services to actual patients before they are licensed. These schools offer affordable services to seniors who can’t afford private dental care or are uninsured.

Charities that Help with Dental Costs

Access Dental Care: Access Dental Care serves retirees and individuals with developmental issues within 33 counties of North Carolina. In addition to offering dental care services, they also provide mass education on dental-related issues like dental hygiene practices and the prevalence of dental problems.

Mission of Mercy: The Mission of Mercy is an on-site, mobile two-day clinic that serves from 300 to 3000 patients who are underprivileged and can’t afford dental care services. Treatments are provided on a first-come-first-served basis.

Free Or Low-Cost Dental Clinics in North Carolina

Doing a web search may be a helpful guide for a seniors looking to find a dental clinic within their budget. You may research the dental clinics listed to know whether they offer services free of charge or you may be required to pay some money for their treatments. Here are some of them:

  1. Blue Ridge Dental Clinic- Cashiers
  2. Caring Community Clinic Dental Services- Jacksonville
  3. Moore Free and Charitable Clinic- Southern Pines
  4. Rockingham County Dental Clinic – Reidsville
  5. The Dental Care Center- Fayetteville
  6. Local Start Dental- Durham

Does Medicare Cover Dental Implants in North Carolina?

No Medicare does not pay for dental implants in North Carolina. The Original Medicare plans only cover hospitalization and medication costs but not dental expenses. For seniors looking for dental insurance coverage, stand-alone insurance coverage or Medicare Advantage plans (MA) are available.

MA plans (Part C) offer both vision and dental coverage provided by private insurance companies but controlled by the government. This plan costs more for coinsurance and uses the co-sharing approach. This means that the Part C plan will cover an agreed percentage of your dental bills while you cover the remainder. Also, these plans come with an annual maximum dental benefit amount.

Are There Grants for Helping with Fillings, Cleanings, Decay and Root Canal Costs?

Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE): This is additional coverage, in addition to Medicare and Medicaid, which offers dentistry as one of its benefits to seniors to prevent them from leaving their homes to live in nursing centers. If you are eligible for Medicare but not Medicaid, you will pay monthly premiums equivalent to the Medicaid amount but with no extra expenses like deductibles.

Financial Assistance

Supplemental Security Income is a form of federal financial aid offered by the Social Security Administration to help seniors above 65 struggling to meet their basic needs.

State/County Special Assistant In-Home Program for Adults (SA/IH) is monetary assistance offered to low-income seniors to cover living costs.

The success of dental grants isn’t going unnoticed as the oral health of the senior population is improving. More strategies must be considered to ensure the maintenance of this upward trend. Moreover, more seniors should prioritize their oral health as much as their general health.