10 Resources for Free and Reduced Fee Dentistry in Metro Denver

denver dentists

Photo credit: Larry Johnson








Not everyone has dental insurance or money to pay for dental care, especially with jobs disappearing.

If you have a dental problem and no insurance, what can you do? Well, you can cancel the cable TV, skip the acrylic nails and cut your own hair (hair and nails grow out, teeth don’t!).

If you still can’t afford traditional dental care, there are other alternatives. There are so many options for dental care for children, I will save those for my next column.

Here are some resources for adults:

1) Barter.
Place a Craigslist add offering to provide your skills in exchange for dental care.

2) Attend the Colorado Mission of Mercy (COMOM) event, which occurs during one weekend each fall. The Colorado Dental Association has sponsored the COMOM, which provides free dentistry to hundreds of people on a first-come, first-serve basis. The location changes each year, in 2014 it will be in Henderson, CO. Get there early and bring a book, you will have to wait in a queue. You won’t get a new set of veneers, just the basics are provided – but the price is right.

3) The University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine provides discounted dental care. There are even residencies to train dentists to become orthodontists and periodontists (gum specialists). Be patient, getting into the system can take awhile. (This is a state institution run by state employees). Dental students tend to work at a slower pace, but everything is done by the book.

4) Denver Health has a dental clinic at their main campus, and an oral surgery residency there provides services such as removal of wisdom teeth. They have 2 other affiliated clinics referred to as “Eastside” and “Westside”. Treatment is provided on a sliding fee basis, for residents of Denver County.

5) Tri-County Health provides discounted dental care to people over age 55 who reside in Arapahoe County.

6) Colorado Coalition for the Homeless has a dental clinic at 21st and Champa, for qualifying homeless people.

7) Inner City Health Center has 2 clinics, one at 3800 York Street, and another called New Hope Dental at St. Anthony’s Central Hospital . Dental treatment is provided on a sliding fee basis.

8) Community College of Denver has a dental hygiene program that provides cleanings and x-rays at reduced cost at the Lowry Campus.

9) Medicaid. While Medicaid provides comprehensive dental care for children, adults are not so fortunate. If you qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid and have certain health conditions, dentistry is provided through the Colorado Access Plan.

10) Your Dentist. If you have a cavity or broken tooth and can’t afford major treatment, ask your dentist if there is a temporary or “provisional” option to stop decay and stabilize the tooth for several months. Sometimes a temporary crown can keep you chewing and smiling while preventing abscesses.

For more information see these websites: