Dental Grants in South Dakota

According to CNBC and, South Dakota is the second-best state in terms of happiness and the best state to retire. This is because of the friendly taxes, low cost of living, magnificent natural sceneries, and close-knit community. For this reason, 16% of the total population is above 65.

Despite the immobility that comes with age, the seniors in this state are determined to maintain their independence. South Dakota has the highest number of seniors in its workforce. Fifty percent of seniors above 50 are working, 9% higher than the nation’s average. However, the income of seniors above 65 is low. The transport, utilities, rent, and health services are affordable, making the living experience in this state the best. Regarding the self-sufficiency of the senior population, they still require help to tackle the everyday challenges they face. Better living conditions motivate people to work harder to build the economy. Local and state authorities and organizations have projects and resources to help with older adults’ needs that they may be unable to meet on their own.

Are there Grants for Dental in South Dakota?

Yes, there are dental grants in South Dakota. The grants are awarded to:

  1. Promote research that will yield innovations needed to advance dentistry
  2. Help dental providers struggling financially through helping with student loan repayment.
  3. Workforce development, by paying salaries and incentives to dental care providers, increasing the accessibility of preventive and restorative treatment services.
  4. Support programs that serve the underprivileged
  5. Sponsor students interested in dentistry to increase the number of dental care providers.

Charities and non-profit organizations also provide dental grants to volunteer dentists running dental clinics that offer free or low-cost treatments as part of their humanitarian service.

How to Get a Dental Grant in South Dakota

The South Dakota Dental Association and American Dental Association strive to bring dental care to those unable to afford it. People with disabilities, seniors above 65, families living below the poverty line, and individuals with no means of affording medical care are all eligible for programs funded by these organizations.

Since 1998, the South Dakota Donated Dental Services has brought smiles to the undeserving. DDS has over 193 dentists and 23 laboratories that have provided $7 million in donated comprehensive treatment to economically struggling South Carolinians. This is the application and treatment process for the program:

  1. Submission of application form online.
  2. Application is screened by the program coordinator, who determines your eligibility for the program.
  3. If you’re eligible, you will be added to the waiting list. If not, a letter of denial will be sent to you. The waiting window can be months to over a year.
  4. Once you are on top of the waiting list, the DDS coordinator will give you a call and interview you.
  5. If you are eligible, you will be paired with a volunteer dentist. The dentist will schedule you for an appointment for an assessment.
  6. The dentist will determine if you will be approved into the program to receive treatment.

Due to the extensive waiting list, DDS does not provide emergency or cosmetic dental services.

The types of dental grants available in South Dakota are:

  • Dental grants: The South Dakota Department of Health and Human Resources, American Dental Association, and South Dakota Dental Association award these dental grants to improve the accessibility of dental services to marginalized areas.
  • Cosmetic Dental Grants: Elective cosmetic dental procedures are expensive, and affording them may be challenging. CDGs enable seniors to gain their confidence by making these procedures more affordable.
  • Dental Implant Grants: Dental implants though necessary, can cost an arm and a leg. Seniors seek help to be able to pay part or complete the costs of these implants through dental implant grants. Confirm with your dentist that your dental grant covers dental implants because not all of them do.
  • Free Dental Implant Clinical Trials: Non-profit organizations fund clinical studies that benefit low-income individuals. Dentistry schools organize these clinical trials for research and to test out promising innovations for safety and efficiency. Eligible seniors may receive dental implants as a benefit for participation. It is a personal decision to participate in the trials or not.

Charities that Help with Dental Costs

Baker’s Local 433 Welfare Fund: The local charity provides dental care, medical, and disability benefits to participating members.

Horizon Health Foundation: Through its 32 medical and dental clinics, the Horizon Health Foundation serves 22 communities and receives over 105,000 patients annually. The dental clinics offer sliding-scale dental treatments to seniors and financially challenged citizens.

Free or Low-cost Dental Clinics Near Me in South Dakota?

  1. Falls Community Health- Sioux Falls
  2. Faith Community Health Center and Dental Clinic- Faith
  3. Orchard Meadows Family Dental & Denture Clinic- Rapid City
  4. Hartford Dental Clinic- Harford
  5. Horizon Healthcare- Howard Dental

Which is the nearest free or low-cost dental clinic to you? You may find it by making a web search “Free dental near me“. This may show you the most affordable dental clinics that offer decent dental care services at sliding-scale prices.

Will Medicare Pay For Dental Implants?

No, Medicare will not pay for dental implants. Most insurance companies won’t either because of their extravagant costs. However, dental implants are a worthy investment because of their durability. Older adults interested in getting dental implants but don’t have enough money to pay for them can consider Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C).

The MA plans come at an extra fee for coinsurance, and they pay for dental, vision, and hearing expenses. The downside is the plans come with a maximum dental benefit amount and follow a co-sharing approach to cover dental treatments. You will still have to pay some money to settle your bills fully.

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

Medicaid: Seniors in South Dakota have dental coverage through Medicaid, a comprehensive insurance cover for low-income South Dakotans. The services covered include:

  • Teeth removal
  • Stainless steel crowns
  • X-rays
  • Fillings
  • Permanent front teeth crowns
  • Partial dentures and full dentures (once every five years)
  • Two cleanings per year
  • Examinations

Medicaid patients above 21 are uninsured for the following dental services:

  • Root canals on back teeth
  • Fluoride treatments
  • Cosmetic procedures
  • Dental implants
  • Bridges

Seniors are eligible for a $1,000 dental benefit, excluding emergency services and dentures.

Medicaid also has the Medical Assistance for Low-Income Facilities (LIF) Program. The program helps uninsured seniors from low-income household pay for hospitalization, prescription drugs, vision services, dental care, and rehabilitation.

Financial Assistance

Temporary Assistance For Needy Families is a state program administered by the South Dakota Department of Social Services and the Department of Labor and Regulations. The program offers financial support to low-income seniors to promote self-sufficiency. The amount of money provided depends on a member’s situation and household income.

Charitable organizations in South Dakota, like Catholic Charities, offer monetary aid to needy families to help them pay their utility bills, rent, and buy food and clothing. Your household income and size are the criteria for this benefit.

Regular dental checkups are essential for maintaining general health, therefore elders should prioritize getting these examinations to stay healthy. By associating dental grants with broader assistance programs, South Dakota proves its dedication to the welfare of its senior citizens. For further details on other options available to seniors in the state such as food assistance, see our comprehensive guide on Grants for Seniors in South Dakota.