Financing Oral Healthcare In Rhode Island

Patient & Provider

Oral healthcare plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy body. On this site we discuss ways to obtain oral healthcare if you are presently uninsured (no dental plan), are enrolled in a dental savings plan (also called discount plans) or if you have dental insurance.

No Dental Coverage

There are a number of free and lost cost dental services offered in state if you presently have no dental coverage, provided that you meet the eligibility requirements established for each service. Visit the Rhode Island Department of Health website listing of oral healthcare services here. All of the resources cited here appear on their page. The link to their page appears at the bottom in the Resources Section.

  • Dental Lifeline Network (Donated Dental Services – DDS) General dentists, specialists and labs donate their time, skills, and funding to provide comprehensive treatment to eligible patients on a non-emergency basis.  Each practitioner in the Network takes 1-2 patients a year on as “free care” cases. All applications must be submitted through a DDS Coordinator. MORE

  • Dental Hygiene Clinic- The Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) operates a dental hygiene clinic on its Lincoln campus where it provides free cleanings, fluoride applications, oral hygiene instruction and other preventive services to the public. CCRI will make referrals for additional treatment needed beyond preventive care. MORE

  • Community Health Centers – There are 18 locations offering oral healthcare on a sliding fee schedule from preventative services such as cleanings to tooth extractions. Sliding fee schedule means that the fee you pay is based on your income. Find out more here or print out a Dental Safety Net List in English or Spanish.

  • CareLink Mobile Dentistry – Provides preventative dental care, x-rays, and fillings to residents of participating nursing homes. Accepts Medicaid, private pay, and private insurance reimbursement. MORE

  • Chewsi is a dental app that helps people find dental services from a dentist at a predetermined, typically discounted, price. It is not insurance and is available to those who have dental insurance and those who don’t, and does not have limitations, deductibles or maximums. MORE

  • Dental Schools. Patients at dental schools receive high quality, state-of-the-art care at low cost. Students are supervised by faculty and is an ideal situation for those with available time. Faculty and graduate students are available who have had experience working with patients who have received cancer care. While there are no dental schools in Rhode Island, the following are within a 1-2 hour drive.

    • Dental schools in Boston:

      • Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine MORE

      • Harvard School of Dental Medicine MORE

      • Tufts University School of Dental Medicine MORE

    • Other New England Schools

      • UCONN School of Dental Medicine (Farmington, CT) MORE

      • University of New england College of Dental Medicine (Portland, ME) MORE

Dental Savings Plans (also called discount plans)

  • Providers of Dental Savings Plans negotiate discounted dental costs for a variety of dental procedures.  Participants enrolled in these plans pay a monthly fee starting as low as $10.00 per month.  Discounts vary from program to program and also by the type of dental service being provided.  There are several Dental Savings Plans currently operating in the state. MORE

Dental Insurance Plans (Under 65)

  • HealthSource RI connects you to dental health insurance plans for these three dental insurers: Blue Cross Blue Shield, Neighborhood Health Plan of RI, and Delta Dental.  There are a number of other dental insurers nationwide also operating in the state.  Monthly premiums and plan coverage varies by provider with each insurer offering a couple of plan options. MORE

  • RI Medicaid. Individuals born after May 1, 2000 are eligible for RIte Smiles, Rhode Island’s Medicaid program for children, run by United Healthcare MORE. Adults born before May 1, 2000, also have dental benefits, including preventive, restorative, surgical and prosthetic care with some limitations in terms of what is covered based on program guidelines. MORE

Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans and Medicare Advantage Plans (65 and over)

  • Supplement insurance plans, also called Medigap, may cover certain Medicare uncovered services, deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance costs for those with Medicare Part A and B. Seniors pay a premium to a private insurance company. Medicare and Medigap programs do not cover dental services except in specific hospital-based emergency situations. Ask your hospital-based provider for more information.

  • Medicare Advantage (also known as Part C) is a Medicare-approved plan from a private company that offers an alternative to Original Medicare for your health and drug coverage. These “bundled” plans include Part A, Part B, and usually Part D. Plans may offer some extra benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover — like vision, hearing, and dental services. Plans may have $0 additional cost or require additional payment. MORE

To Contact Someone Please See Below:

  • Donated Dental Services (DDS) Coordinator: Matt McLaren, 401-821-8656,

  • Rhode Island Community Health Center Association: (To find a community health center near you) 401-274-1771,

  • Rite Care Contact: 1-855-697-4347

  • UnitedHealthcare RIte Smiles Contact: 1-866-375-3257 (TTY 711)

  • Medical Assistance: 401.462-5300; Toll free: 1-855-840-4774

  • Dental Savings Plans: Google dental savings plans, RI

Additional References:


You may wish to learn more about:

  • Finding dental care