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Updated on December 30, 2022
9 min read

Top Dental Schools That Provide Cheap or Free Dental Work in Each State

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How to Get Cheap or Free Dental Work at Dental Schools

Cost is the main reason why people in the United States do not get regular dental care. Some people cannot afford the out-of-pocket payments required for dental care or do not have public or private dental insurance.

Dental services are expensive. A routine visit for cleaning and an exam can set you back $200. If you have cavities that need to be filled, that'll cost you several hundred dollars. Braces and dentures can cost thousands.

For the average worker, this is a lot of money. For someone on a limited income, retired, out of work, or has no dental coverage, dental care takes the backseat. 

However, cheap or free dental care is available. With thorough research, patience, and a bit of luck, low-cost or free dental work is possible.  

How Does Low-Cost Care at Dental Schools Work? 

Dental schools are good sources of quality, low-cost dental treatment. Most dental schools run clinics where dental students provide dental services at reduced prices. This allows students to gain experience in treating patients. 

Dental schools offer dental treatment at half the price — or even less. Experienced and licensed dentists closely supervise the treatments, so appointments take longer than usual. This is because the supervisors have to check every step as the dental student works on you.

There are advantages and disadvantages associated with low-cost dental services. It's important to know what you're getting into so you get to make an informed decision.

Pros of dental schools:

  • Dental treatments are cheaper, usually with 50% discounts or more. This includes surgical procedures as well as preventive and restorative care.
  • Licensed dentists supervise the procedure, checking each step to ensure that things are done "by the book."
  • Dental schools are duly accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).
  • Some dental procedures are given for free.
  • You are assured of quality dental work.

Cons of dental schools:

  • You would have to wait for the availability of appointments.
  • Appointments and procedures take longer than they would at a private dentist's office.
  • Dental students are in training. This means that there's a higher risk for errors. However, because they are supervised by professionals, mistakes rarely occur.
  • There is a need for you to go on-campus to receive treatment personally. For those who live far, a commute is necessary.
  • Not all dental services are available at a dental school.

How to Become a Patient at a Dental School

To become a patient at a dental school, you must first undergo a screening procedure. This is to determine your suitability as a patient and if you will be able to teach dental students what they need to know for their practice.

Your needs should match with the student's training needs. If you are qualified, then you become a patient. You will be assigned to a dental student, where you'll receive the low-cost (or free) dental procedure that you need.

Some dental schools charge a non-refundable fee for the screening process. Not all dental schools do this, so it's best for you to check beforehand if there are pre-treatment fees that you need to settle.

Who Qualifies for Cheap Services at Dental Schools?

There are a lot of dental schools that offer dental services at reduced rates. The following groups of people qualify for cheap services at dental schools:

  • The elderly
  • People with disabilities
  • Mentally and medically compromised persons
  • Low-income individuals

Top Dental Schools to Get Low-Cost Dental Work (By State)

Most states offer low-cost dental services via dental schools. These programs are full of dental students who need hands-on training before graduation. 

The cost usually depends on the type of program that you choose. Most programs offer pre-doctoral, advanced, and allied dental education programs.

The following is a list of dental schools that offer low-cost dental work, organized by state. These are all accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA):

Alabama

University of Alabama School of Dentistry at UAB
1530 3rd Avenue S.
SDB 406
Birmingham
35294-0007

Arizona

A.T. Still University Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health
5850 East Still Circle
Mesa
85206

Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine- Arizona
19555 North 59th Avenue
Glendale
85308

California

California Northstate University College of Dental Medicine
9700 West Taron Drive
Elk Grove
95757

Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of the University of Southern California
925 W. 34th Street
Los Angeles
90089-6041

Loma Linda University School of Dentistry
11092 Anderson St.
Loma Linda
92350

University of California at Los Angeles School of Dentistry
Center for Health Science
Rm 53-038
10833 Le Conte Ave
Los Angeles
90095-1668

University of California at San Francisco School of Dentistry
513 Parnassus Ave
S-630
San Francisco
94143

University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry
155 5th Street
San Francisco
94103

Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine
College of Dental Medicine
Western University of Health Sciences
309 E. Second Street
Pomona
91766-185

Colorado

University of Colorado Denver School of Dental Medicine
School of Dental Medicine; Lazzara Center for Oral-Facial Health
13065 E. 17th Avenue
Mail Stop F831
Aurora
80045

Connecticut

University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington
06030-3915

Florida

LECOM College of Dental Medicine
4800 Lakewood Ranch Boulevard
Bradenton
34211

Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine
3200 S. University Drive
Fort Lauderdale
33328

University of Florida College of Dentistry
1600 SW Archer Rd.
Rm D4-6
P.O. Box 100405
Gainesville
32610-0405

Georgia

The Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University
1430 John Wesley Gilbert Drive
Rm AD 5202
Augusta
30912-0200

Illinois

Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine- Illinois
555 31st Street
Downers Grove
60515

Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine
2800 College Avenue
Bldg 273/2300
Alton
62002

University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry
801 South Paulina Street
Suite # 102
Chicago
60612

Indiana

Indiana University School of Dentistry
500 West University Blvd., UH-3145
Indianapolis
46202

Iowa

University of Iowa College of Dentistry
100 Dental Science Bldg.
Iowa City
52242

Kentucky

University of Kentucky College of Dentistry
800 Rose Street
D 136 UKMC
Lexington
40536-0297

University of Louisville School of Dentistry
501 S. Preston Street
Louisville
40292

Louisiana

Louisiana State University School of Dentistry
1100 Florida Avenue
New Orleans
70119-2799

Maine

University of New England College of Dental Medicine
Westbrook College Campus
716 Stevens Avenue
Portland
04103-2670

Maryland

University of Maryland School of Dentistry
650 W. Baltimore Street
Suite 6402
Baltimore
21201

Massachusetts

Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine
100 East Newton Street
Boston
02118

Harvard University School of Dental Medicine
188 Longwood Avenue
Boston
02115

Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
One Kneeland Street
Boston
02111

Michigan

University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry
2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
(MB 98)
Detroit
48208-2576

University of Michigan School of Dentistry
1011 N. University Ave.
Ann Arbor
48109-1078

Minnesota

University of Minnesota School of Dentistry
Room 15-209 Moos Tower
515 S.E. Delaware Street
Minneapolis
55455

Mississippi

University of Mississippi School of Dentistry
Medical Center;
2500 North State Street
Jackson
9216-4505

Missouri

Missouri School of Dentistry and Oral Health
Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health
800 W. Jefferson St.
Kirksville
63501

University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry
650 East 25th Street
Kansas City
64108

Nebraska

Creighton University School of Dentistry
2109 Cuming Street
Omaha
68131

University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry
40th & Holdrege Streets
Lincoln
68583-0740

Nevada

University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine
Shadow Lane Campus
1001 Shadow Lane
MS 7410
Las Vegas
89106-4124

New Jersey

Rutgers School of Dental Medicine
110 Bergen St.;
Room B815
Newark
07103-2425

New York

Columbia University College of Dental Medicine
630 West 168th Street
PH7 East Room 122
New York
10032

New York University College of Dentistry
345 East 24th Street
New York
10010

Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine
Health Sciences Center;
154 Rockland Hall
Stony Brook
11794-8700

Touro College of Dental Medicine at New York Medical College (NYMC)
19 Skyline Drive
Hawthorne
10532

University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine
325 Squire Hall;
3435 Main Street
Buffalo
14214-3008

North Carolina

East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine
1851 MacGregor Downs Road, Mail Stop 701
Greenville
27834-5925

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Koury Oral Health Sciences, Suite 1611
3/8 S. Columbia Street, Campus Box 7450
Chapel Hill
27599-7450

Ohio

Case Western Reserve Univ. School of Dental Medicine
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland
44106-4905

Ohio State University College of Dentistry
305 West 12th Avenue
Columbus
43210-1267

Oklahoma

University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry
1201 N. Stonewall Avenue
Oklahoma City
73117

Oregon

Oregon Health and Science University School of Dentistry
2730 SW Moody Avenue
Portland
97201-5042

Pennsylvania

Temple University The Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry
3223 North Broad Street
Philadelphia
19140

University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine
240 South 40th Street;
Robert Shattner Center
Philadelphia
19104-6030

University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine
3501 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh
15261

South Carolina

Medical University of South Carolina James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine
173 Ashley Ave. MSC 507
PO Box 250507
Charleston
29425-5070

Tennessee

Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry
1005 D.B. Todd Blvd.
Nashville
37208

University of Tennessee College of Dentistry
University of Tennessee Health Science Ctr;
875 Union Avenue
Memphis
38163

Texas

Texas A&M University College of Dentistry
3302 Gaston Avenue
Dallas
75246
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso
5001 El Paso Dr.
El Paso
79905

The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston
7500 Cambridge Street
Houston
77054

UT Health San Antonio, School of Dentistry
7703 Floyd Curl Drive
Mail Code 7914
San Antonio
78284-7914

Utah

Roseman University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine
10920 S. Riverfront Park
South Jordan
84095

University of Utah School of Dentistry
530 South Wakara Way
Salt Lake City
84108

Virginia

VCU School of Dentistry
P.O. Box 980566
520 North 12th Street
450 Lyons Building
Richmond
23298-0566

Washington

University of Washington School of Dentistry
1959 NE Pacific Street, B-530
Box 357480
Seattle
98195

West Virginia

West Virginia University School of Dentistry
Robert C. Byrd Health Sci Ctr.;
1150 HSC North/Medical Center Drive;
PO Box 9400
Morgantown
26506-9400

Wisconsin

Marquette University School of Dentistry
1801 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee
53233

Other Ways to Get Free or Low-Cost Dental Work

Aside from dental school clinics, there are other ways to get free or low-cost dental care:

Public Dental Clinics

These are clinics run by community health centers or by local or state health departments and are funded by taxpayers. They usually charge low, fixed prices or sliding fees depending on how much the patient can afford to pay. 

These clinics provide dental services such as cleaning, exams, root canals, x-rays, crowns, fillings, and surgical tooth extraction.

Free Dental Clinics

Many faith-based groups, charities, and professional dental organizations organize free dental clinics. However, the waitlist can be quite long. 

Also, they usually have requirements as to who can qualify for free dental services. They either have income cutoffs or are exclusive to people with disabilities or the elderly.

Government Dental Coverage

There are three federally-funded programs where you can get free or low-cost dental care: Medicaid, Medicare, and CHIP.

  • CHIP is for children without health insurance. It provides medical services to qualified children up to 19 years of age. Dental service coverage depends from state to state.
  • Medicaid is a state-run program providing medical and some dental benefits to eligible people and families. Each state has its own guidelines regarding eligibility and covered services. 
  • Medicare is a health insurance program for the elderly (65 years and older) and people with specific disabilities. Dental coverage, however, is limited. Dentures and most routine dental care services are not covered.

Dental Savings Plans

These are less expensive alternatives to dental insurance and are available for individuals and families. 

Also called dental discount plans, dental savings plans offer discounted rates for dental treatments and services provided by orthodontists, oral surgeons, and dentists within their network. 

A monthly or annual fee (about $100 to $200 per year) is required to receive a 10 to 60 percent discount on dental care.

Last updated on December 30, 2022
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on December 30, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. “Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General.” US Department of Health and Human Services, 2000.
  2. "Disparities in Oral Health." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  3. Where Can I Find Low-Cost Dental Care?.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  4. Search for Dental Programs.” Commission on Dental Accreditation.
  5. Finding Dental Care.” National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
  6.  “Low-Cost Dental Care.” New Hampshire Dental Society.
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