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Patients & the Public

This page offers help in finding dental care and learning how to have good oral health. You can find information on places and programs that offer dental care to people with lower incomes, no dental insurance or those living with HIV or AIDS. The Oral Health Fact Sheets section lists fact sheets created by the Oral Health Program and others, and has links to websites that have information on many oral health topics.

Getting Dental Care

Listed below are ways you may be able to find dental care for yourself or your family.

Safety Net Dental Care Programs

Safety net dental clinics provide dental care to people on Medicaid, and offer sliding-fees, reduced fees or free care to patients who don't have dental insurance or can't afford to pay a private dentist. The dental "safety net" includes public dental clinics, dental care provided to schoolchildren, and mobile/portable dental care programs (e.g., mobile dental vans). These programs provide basic dental care such as exams, X-rays, fillings, extractions, root canals and dentures. 

Ohio currently has more than 170 safety net clinics in 60 counties, however, more than 25 counties have no dental clinic. They are listed, by county, in this spreadsheet  and brochure. Counties that are not listed in the spreadsheet or brochure do not have a safety net dental clinic.  

Many clinics require that you live in the same county to get dental care. Please contact each clinic to learn more about the dental care offered, the hours the clinic is open and payment options.

Healthy Start-Healthy Families

Children, families and pregnant women can receive free and low-cost dental care through Healthy Start-Healthy Families run by the Ohio Department of Medicaid. Besides dental care, many other types of health care such as doctor visits, prescriptions (drugs), hospital care and vaccines are covered.  

Workers at your local county Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) office can help you. Find the ODJFS office near you. Call the Medicaid Consumer Hotline toll-free at 1-800-324-8680 if you need more help. 

Dental OPTIONS

Dental OPTIONS (Ohio Partnership To Improve Oral health through access to Needed Services) is a dental care program provided through a partnership between the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Dental Association. It is operated by the Dental Lifeline Network. The mission of Dental OPTIONS is to help eligible, low-income, uninsured adults in Ohio get dental care by linking them with volunteer dentists who provide free or lower-cost dental care.

This program is currently accepting applications in some, but not all Ohio counties. Wait lists are being continuously monitored and updated.

What You Need to Know About the Dental OPTIONS Program

As a possible patient: 

  • Dental OPTIONS is not an emergency dental care program. 
  • Only a few types of dental services are provided. 
  • Patients cannot be eligible for Medicaid or have dental insurance.
  • Most patients are older adults on fixed incomes.
  • Many patients have special healthcare needs.
  • Depending on your income, dental care may be free or you may pay reduced fees. 
  • Patients are matched with volunteer OPTIONS dentists who discount or donate care.
  • To apply, please visit the Dental Lifeline Network.

As a volunteer dentist or lab:

Many patients served by the Dental OPTIONS Program need dental care involving lab work, such as crowns or dentures. Currently, more than 100 dental labs provide services to dentists treating OPTIONS patients. Participating dentists and dental labs determine the number and types of cases to donate or discount.

Please call 1-888-765-6789 for information on how to participate in the OPTIONS program as a volunteer dentist or lab or visit the Ohio Dental Association website.

Dental Care for People Living with HIV or AIDS

The Ryan White Emergency Financial Assistance (RWEA) program helps people who are HIV-positive and have an emergency need that is HIV-related, including dental care. Clients must be enrolled in the Ryan White program and be referred by a medical case manager.

Oral Health Fact Sheets

Listed below are easy-to-read oral health fact sheets. You will need Adobe Acrobat Viewer on your computer to view them. Click here to download the free Adobe Acrobat Viewer.

Other Oral Health Websites and Fact Sheets

Visit the websites listed below to learn more about how to maintain a healthy mouth at any age, or to order free or low-cost fact sheets (many in other languages).