Dental health is a window into the rest of your body’s health. Staying up to date on your oral care is essential to your overall health. In some cases, it can help providers understand what ailments you might be having, and in other cases, it can prevent an illness from impacting other parts of the body.
In children, poor oral care can even lead to inadequate nutrition, pain, depression and missed school, according to the 2020 Missouri Oral Health Report.
Yet 74 million Americans do not have dental insurance. Almost one million Kansas residents do not have dental insurance. In Missouri, it’s not known how many people don’t have covered dental care, but about 760,000 Missouri residents have no health care at all.
In Kansas and Missouri, the cost of services, available insurance, access to providers, and use of preventive services are major barriers to appropriate care.
Fortunately, Metro Kansas City has a number of clinics and programs that provide free dental care to residents in need. Here’s where you can get your pearly whites taken care of in the Kansas City area.
Free dental care
Dental services are available at the JayDoc Free Clinic at 300 Southwest Boulevard. To schedule an appointment, call 913-387-1202 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOPE accepts Medicaid and uninsured patients with immediate dental needs. The clinic is located at 1215 NW 7 Highway. Call 816-427-1164 to learn more.
On June 11, Aspen Dental will provide free dental services to veterans in two Kansas City locations between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Call 1-844-277-3646 to schedule an appointment or to find more locations outside of the Kansas City Metro.
6262 NW Barry Rd
7524 State Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas
Discounted dental care
KC Care Health Center is located at 2340 E Meyer Boulevard. The clinic can do teeth cleanings, sealants for children, fillings, x-rays and more. Call 816-753-5144 to learn more.
UMKC School of Dentistry Dental Clinic
UMKC Dental Clinic offers heavily discounted dental services for children and adults. The clinic also receives emergency patients without an appointment. There is a $52 assessment fee if you arrive with an emergency. Otherwise, the cost of services is about one-third to one-half the price of traditional dental care. Medicaid and private insurance are also accepted. Visit 650 E. 25th Street or call (816) 235-2100 to learn more.
Comfort Dental at 3215 Main Street also accepts Medicaid, private insurance, and offers an alternative payment method that allows low annual or monthly payments to help cover the cost of services. For more information, call 855-526-6524.
Samuel U. Rodgers Health center
This health center offers dental services ranging from root therapy to routine cleanings. The center accepts Medicaid and has a sliding scale for clients who need it. They also have transportation for people who need help getting to their appointments. Meet at 2121 Summit Drive or call 816-471-0900.
This story was originally published May 18, 2022 5:00 a.m.