How can I get the dental care I need if I can't afford it and have no dental insurance?

A fellow caregiver asked...

I am 65 years old and I have been disabled since 1998. I receive Medicare and a National Guard check. I have no dental insurance and can not afford it. I have been told that I need six teeth that I have left caped. I can not afford the $8,000 that was quoted to me. Are there any schools in Columbia, SC that takes seniors to pratice on.

Expert Answer

The only school of dentistry in South Carolina is the College of Dental Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. They see private patients, and could very likely do your dental work for far less than the figure you've been quoted. If it saved you thousands of dollars, it might be worth traveling to Charleston for your dental care.

Medicare doesn't cover any dental work, but if you have low income and few assets (other than your home and a car), it's possible to get some low-cost dental care through Medicaid. To find out about eligibility for Medicaid in South Carolina, contact your local Richland County Medicaid office by calling 803-714-7562 or 803-714-7462.

If you qualify for Medicaid, you can get a list of dentists who accept Medicaid patients by calling the South Carolina Dental Association's toll-free referral service at 800-868-0404.