Are dental implant grants real? We’ve been asked this question a lot lately, so let’s talk about what you need to know about dental implants and the assistance programs that can help.
Here’s the problem.
As you’ve probably already realized, dental implants aren’t generally considered medically necessary. They’re considered a cosmetic procedure.
As a result, most assistance programs (like Medicaid) and even most reputable dental grant programs (like Dental Lifeline Network) will not assist with dental implants. Most low income dental clinics won’t provide this service, either.
These organizations are so focused on meeting basic needs that they just can’t afford to assist with more expensive elective procedures.
Are dental implant grants real?
There are several organizations out there that claim to offer real dental implant grants. The most well-known of these is Cosmetic Dentistry Grants, a website that claims to offer partial grants for an assortment of cosmetic-only dental procedures including teeth whitening and implants.
Although it does appear that Cosmetic Dentistry Grants will discount the cost of your services, they only work with providers who artificially inflate the cost of their services. Most users have found that the amount they pay more after receiving a grant from Cosmetic Dentistry Grants than they would if they had gone to a different provider without a grant.
As a result, I do not recommend getting a grant from Cosmetic Dentistry Grants. Their dental implant grants are not real. You can read more about their scam in this post.
How can you tell if a dental implant grant is real?
When evaluating any sort of grant program, you need to watch out for scams. There are many legitimate low income grants but there are also many scams that will only make your situation worse.
Legitimate grants will have eligibility requirements.
There is a huge demand for grants. Not everyone who wants one will be eligible. Every legitimate grant program I’ve ever seen has had strict eligibility requirements, usually involving income, demographics or other criteria.
However, Cosmetic Dentistry Grants does not have any of those criteria. In fact, they openly state that everyone can apply regardless of income.
This is not how legitimate grant programs operate.
Legitimate grant programs can be verified.
Look at the addresses listed for the grant program. Do a search on Google Maps to see if you can verify the address. Search the state’s business and non-profit registration directories to see if their organization can be found.
If you cannot verify that their organization exists or that their address is actually registered to their organization, that’s a pretty solid indicator that the organization you’re dealing with is a fraud.
Watch out for poor writing and contradictory information.
Legitimate organizations hire professional copywriters. If the website has contradictory information or poor writing, it could be an indicator that the website is a front for a scam.
Search for reviews on non-biased sources.
Don’t trust the reviews on the organization’s website. They have control over what is published there.
Always look for reviews on Yelp and Google, as well as social media. On these websites, users can publish reviews without the consent or cooperation of the business or organization they are reviewing. Since the business does not have control, users can be more honest.
Watch out for fake reviews. Many businesses and organizations incentivize people to leave good reviews. You’ll usually find more honesty in the bad reviews. Look for trends and common themes among the negative reviews. If multiple people are complaining about the same details, it’s an indicator that those complaints are valid.
In the case of Cosmetic Dentistry Grants, multiple users complain that they are forced to work with overpriced providers, charged extra out-of-pocket fees, and given estimates that are equal to or more than similar providers in their area (even after the grant is applied).
Evaluate how the grant is funded.
Legitimate grant programs should be open about their funding sources. After all, the organization has to be able to fund the grants somehow, right?
In the case of Cosmetic Dentistry Grants, the grants are funded by referral fees paid by the dentists themselves. In other words, CDG is little more than a paid advertising service that recommends specific dentists in exchange for a referral fee. This is a blatant conflict of interest that makes it hard to trust their estimates or their grant program.
Always get a second opinion.
If you receive a quote from a specific provider after applying for a dental implant grant, it helps to be able to compare that quote to one from an outside provider. Many companies that offer implants will offer free consultations and free estimates.
You will be able to answer “are dental implant grants real?” for yourself after you compare the two estimates. Either the grant will save you money, or it won’t.
Real Alternatives to Dental Implant Grants
While researching this information, I was not able to locate any real dental implant grants. That’s because the legitimate dental grants I’ve found do not cover elective or cosmetic procedures. They are stretched too thin with mandatory services.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get assistance with your dental implant costs. We’ve found a few ways that you can save money on dental implants.
Dental schools are a great place to get affordable dental services and many offer dental implants as well. If you’re willing to let a supervised student perform your procedure, you may be able to save a lot of money on your dental implants.
I am not aware of any schools that offer completely free dental implants, but many do offer their services at half-cost which is a significant savings. It’s definitely more savings than you’ll get from the so-called grants we previously discussed.
Department of the VA
Veterans may be able to get dental implants through the Department of Veterans Affairs if they are eligible for dental services.
In order to be eligible for VA dental services, veterans must meet one of the following criteria:
- You must have a service-connected dental disability or condition
- Be a former prisoner of war
- You must have a 100% service-connected disability rating
- You must be compensated at the 100% rating due to Individual Unemployability.
Dental Discount Plans
Dentists with discount plans are also a great choice. Many dentists offer these discount plans to customers as an alternative to billing insurance.
For example, our family doesn’t have insurance so we pay a small amount per year for a care plan from our local dentist. As a result, we get free cleanings, free basic exams and imaging, and a 20% discount on all of our services.
If you can get a discount plan with your provider, you may be able to get a good discount on your implants. You’ll need to inquire with your local provider for details.
Care Credit is another option for dental implants, although it does create a debt that would need to be repaid. In order to obtain financing from Care Credit, you will need to demonstrate that you have a good enough credit score and enough income to repay the debt.
FAQs about Dental Implant Grants
Since we’ve received so many questions about dental implant grants and assistance programs, we wanted to dedicate this section to answering the most common questions we’ve received.
If you do not see your question in this segment, please leave it in the comments below and we will answer as quickly as we can.
Will Medicaid pay for dental implants?
Most assistance programs will not assist with cosmetic procedures. In states where Medicaid covers dental expenses, the program will usually cover dentures but not implants. That’s because Medicaid only covers basic medical expenses and implants are considered an elective cosmetic option.
Based on this chart from Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc. it appears that Medicaid will assist with dentures but not implants in the following states:
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
Are there government grants for dental implants?
Unfortunately, no. We were not able to locate any legitimate government grants that assist with dental implants.
What are some alternatives to dental implants?
If you cannot afford a dental implant, there are less-expensive treatments that may be able to assist you. These include bridges, dentures, flippers and more. Some of these may be covered by Medicaid or trustworthy dental grants like Dental Lifeline Network.