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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

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 has about 100 safety net clinics in 48 counties. 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 program run by the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Dental Association. The mission of OPTIONS is to help people who have a low income and/or special health care needs get dental care. OPTIONS patients are mostly adults; many are the "working poor" or elderly living on a fixed income. Eligible patients are matched with volunteer OPTIONS dentists who have agreed to provide dental care for lower fees. 

What you need to know about the OPTIONS Program

As a possible patient: 
•Dental OPTIONS is not an emergency program. 
•Only a few types of dental services are provided. 
•You cannot be eligible for Medicaid or have dental insurance.
•Fees are based on your income and certain health conditions. You must be able to pay some money at the time of each appointment. If you do not have any income or other money, you will not be able to apply. 

If you think you might be eligible to apply, please call 1-888-765-6789.

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 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).