The Pennsylvania Department of Health Oral Health Program coordinates and implements initiatives that integrate prevention and management of dental disease. Prevention efforts target at risk populations such as low-income, pregnant women, and infants. The State Public Health Dentist and a program administrator provide technical assistance and guidance to community based efforts to increase access to oral health services. The State Public Health Dentist serves as the Secretary of Health’s representative on the State Dental Board and as the Department’s liaison to the dental community.
Safety Net Dental Clinics:
Safety net clinics are most often non-profit, community sponsored dental clinics that usually see patients without other access to dental care. These are usually low-income people who can't afford dental care, or are patients on public insurance who cannot find a private dentist willing to see them. The dental treatment is either done for free or a sliding scale is offered. Each program has its own limitations and availability of appointments, so call first to find out the specifics of a clinic near you. To identify nearby clinics, follow the below link, and then click on the desired county(s) to see a list of the clinics in that county(s).
Information on State Loan Repayment Programs, Shortage area Designations, Challenge Grants, Practice Opportunities:
Click on the link below to the Department of Health web page containing this information:
Pennsylvania Dental Society's Senior Dental Care Program:
The Senior Dental Care Program offers reduced-cost dental care to eligible, low-income Pennsylvania senior citizens by dentists who are members of the Pennsylvania Dental Association. More than 1,700 PDA members have volunteered to participate in this program.
Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers (PACHC):
Established in 1981 as a private non-profit organization, the PACHC is the state association of community health centers. These community-owned and operated rural and urban centers provide quality health care that is both affordable and accessible. Most receive some federal grant support from the Public Health Service. For additional information, visit: www.pachc.com
National Health Service Corp:
The National Health Service Corp (NHSC) provides comprehensive team-based health care that bridges geographic, financial, cultural, and language barriers. The NHSC works closely with the Health Resources and Services Administration to recruit primary care clinicians for communities in need. For additional information, visit: http://nhsc.bhpr.hrsa.gov
State Sponsored Health Payment Programs for Low-income Patients:
Pennsylvania's Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP):
Call 1-800-986-KIDS for information or follow above link.
Medicaid Program in the Department of Public Welfare (DPW):
Call the Welfare Helpline at 1-800-692-7462 (TDD 1-800-451-5886) or follow the above link.