Texans with aching teeth can find relief at low costs and, sometimes, at no cost.
Dentistry From The Heart, a national non-profit organization that promotes free dental service events across the country including several single day events at private practices in Texas. The free dental services provided to needy community members include cleanings, fillings and extractions with patients seen on a first come first served basis.
When one event was held in San Antonio in 2010, the line started forming a 7pm the night before and over 400 people showed up to be treated by the dentists and support staff who volunteered their time and talents. Unfortunately, less than half of them could be seen by the time the doors were closed.
The Texas Mission of Mercy is another organization that puts together free dental events. With the primary goal of relieving pain, the services provided are limited to those that can be done in a mission setting such as fillings, cleanings and extractions. Services for cosmetic dentistry and braces are not offered at the events which usually take place over a period of 2 days.
While free dental options are few, those seeking low cost services should look into dental schools including the University of Texas Health Science Center Dental Branch locations in Houston and San Antonio.
Procedures provided by students with faculty supervision are available at rates that can be as much as 40% less than those at a private dental practice.
For more affordable dental service options available on a sliding scale you should look to local non-profit organizations. Community Dental Care in the Dallas area, for example, operates 11 dental clinics and is the largest nonprofit provider of routine and preventative dental services to low-income individuals in Texas.
Texans can also find many low cost dental and other health care services they need by phone. Through a unique program of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission callers can be directed to local services by simply dialing 2-1-1.