Community-based dental clinics serve an important function as primary care safety net clinics for those who fall through or chose not to receive care in the private sector or other clinical settings where oral health care is delivered. Clinics receive funding from a variety of sources and operate under many arrangements; some are stand alone dental clinics, while others are co-located with or are an integral part of community health centers or other community-based programs.
The Community Health Center (CHC) Program under BPHC is a Federal grant program funded under Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act to provide for primary and preventive health care services in medically-underserved areas throughout the U.S. and its territories. BPHC provides an annual oral health conference, the National Primary Oral Health Care Conference. Their website links to state primary care offices and primary care associations.
The National Network for Oral Health Access
a nationwide network of dental providers who care for patients in Migrant, Homeless and Community Health Centers. To learn more about the organization and their resources, visit the website.
An online manual for organizations that want to consider starting a dental clinic or for those who want to improve or expand their dental programs.
The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics
Free and Charitable Clinics and Charitable Pharmacies are safety-net health care organizations that utilize a volunteer/staff model to provide a range of medical, dental, pharmacy, vision and/or behavioral health services to economically disadvantaged individuals. There are approximately 1,400 Free and Charitable Clinics and Charitable Pharmacies throughout the nation who since the 1960's have been filling in the gap for those who "fall through the cracks" in our current health care system. These clinics/pharmacies receive little to no state or federal funding, do not receive HRSA 330 funds and are not Federally Qualified Health Centers or Rural Health Centers.
HHS Where to Find Low-Cost Dental Care
There are a variety of resources for dental care, including local health departments, medical insurance programs, dental schools, clinical trials and state and local resources.