Dental Non-Profits and Charity Guide for the Uninsured

From pain, discomfort and the inability to eat properly to the embarrassment of missing teeth or a disfigured smile, Americans who do not have the resources to pay for dental care are at a tremendous disadvantage.

 

In many cases, government assistance does not provide uninsured adults in America with the oral care they need. Even the government assistance that is available is often inadequate or limited to little more that routine checkups.

 

Fortunately, there are a number of non-profit organizations across America that have made it a priority to give Americans without dental insurance the dental care they need.

 

While there are others, the following is a list of five of the best-known non-profit organizations interested in helping America’s uninsured find the dental health care they so desperately need.

 

 

1. American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (Give Back a Smile Program)

 

The AACD has a unique program that helps the victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence. To help those people who have suffered at the hands of spouses, family members and other trusted individuals, the AACD’s GBAS program is designed to help women, men and children heal with cosmetic dentistry.

 

Recognizing the fact that one in four people have suffered from either domestic or sexual abuse, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentristy’s Give Back a Smile program helps give confidence back to these individuals.

 

Since 1991, the Give Back a Smile program has provided more than $15 million in cosmetic dental repair through charitable donations and pro bono work from AACD member dentists, dental laboratories and other dental professionals.

 

 

2. National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped (NFDH)

 

The National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped (NFDH) — more recently known as the Dental Lifeline Network — helps three types of people: the elderly, the medically fragile and those people with disabilities. A non-profit that thrives with the help of both volunteers and generous donations from individuals around the country, Dental Lifeline Network has state programs around the United States.

 

The Dental Lifeline Network website lists information such as eligibility, contact information, how to volunteer, how to apply for services, overall volunteer and donation statistics, and all patients treated for each state.

 

Based in Denver, Colorado, the NFDH is one of the largest free-dental-care providers in the nation. According to the NFDH, “Since its inception in 1985, our DDS program has surpassed $330 million in donated dental therapies, transforming the lives of 117,000 people.”

 

 

3. Foundation for Health Coverage Education

 

CoverageforAll.org provides a personalized list of health — including dental — coverage options for people without the financial means to pay for their health care out of pocket. In addition to working as a resource, the FHCE can help people living below the poverty line find the finances required to pay for dental and healthcare.

 

The FHCE begins moving people toward healthcare coverage with its Eligibility Quiz Pamphlet. The FHCE also provides easy to use resources like Federal Poverty Level Charts and a 3-Step Guide to Affording Your Medication.

 

However, it is important to note that the Foundation for Health Coverage Education does not provide the same sum of finances as other dental care non-profits. What it does do is provide resources to those who are interested in finding alternative means of paying for dental care.

 

 

4. Oral Health America

 

Based in Chicago, Oral Health of America is a non-profit organization that has three branches of oral health resources. Ideal for older Americans, the Wisdom Tooth Project produces educational programming for middle-aged and elderly Americans, and it helps those Americans who cannot afford care find options.

 

In addition to finding funding for older Americans who cannot afford dental care, Oral Health of America also provides health education for older Americans, advocates for oral health legislation, and partners with top organizations around the country to provide funding and education for both younger and older Americans.

 

 

5. Mission of Mercy Program

 

A non-profit founded in 1991 that came to fruition in 1994, the Mission of Mercy program provides healing with love for the uninsured living in the following states: Arizona, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Texas. The Mission of Mercy has six primary objectives:

 

  1. To restore dignity to the sick, poor and homeless.
  2. To serve as a catalyst for change in the healthcare community.
  3. To teach their patients about healthcare and to empower them to care for themselves.
  4. To provide free healthcare, including medical and prescription medications, to the uninsured working poor.
  5. To provide healthcare to those moving off the welfare system.
  6. To provide healthcare to the economically disadvantaged who are in transition.

 

Every year, Mission of Mercy provides 24,000 medical and 500 dental visits, perform more than 2,400 separate dental procedures, and has 19 mobile clinics. Donations serve as a large portion of the funding for Mission of Mercy non-profit organization.

 

Giving Hope to adult and elderly Americans is something all five of these non-profit charities have done.

 

 

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