The September 2015 issue of The Moisture Seekers newsletter from the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation contains potentially valuable information for those that are unable to afford dental treatment:
Low-Income Sjogren's Patients May Qualify For Free Dental Treatment
Dry Mouth in Sjogren's patients causes a decrease in both the amount ad quality of saliva, which ultimately results in tooth decay. Patients often experience substantial dental bills that are not considered part of major medical insurance. While the SSF continues to advocate on Capital Hill for better health coverage for Sjogren's patients, we are now partnering with Dental Lifeline Network to provide an option for patients with limited financial income.
Sjogren's patients who have limited financial resources may be eligible for free, comprehensive dental treatment through Donated Dental Services (DDS), a program operated by Dental Lifeline Network.
Through its 15,000 volunteer dentists and 3,800 volunteer dental labs nationwide, DDS offers comprehensive dental care to people who lack financial resources or access to dental care and:To find out more about this DDS program and to find availability of volunteer dentists in your state, visit www.DentalLifeline.org, and click on Our State Programs.
- Are age 65 and older or
- Have permanent disabilities or
- Are medically fragile: require surgery or medical treatment but cannot qualify for what they need until their dental needs have been met (due to the risk of infection from their dental disease). (Medically fragile patients include people in need of cardiac surgery, chemotherapy, organ transplants and joint replacements. Although Medicare may cover their medical needs, it does not cover the pre-requisite dental care. Medicaid coverage for adults dental treatment in most states is also very limited.)
To qualify for the DDS program, applicants first must exhaust Medicaid, dental benefits they may have through the Veterans Administration, or any other dental coverage for which they are eligible. SSF members can continue reading here.
- DDS is designed for people who need comprehensive dental care. Routine care is not a component of the program.