Finding & Financing Oral Healthcare
In Rhode Island

Patient, Caregivers, & Providers

Finding Dental Care

A dentist's comfort in providing oral healthcare for patients with a history of cancer treatment may depend on a number of factors, including past experience, residency training, or commitment to learn. General dentists often have completed general practice residencies that are hospital-based and provide exposure to patients with complex medical histories. Oral surgeons have advanced training in the management of complex surgical scenarios. Prosthodontists are specialists in the replacement of teeth and the care of patients who have received cancer therapy is part of their training. 

To find dentists in Rhode Island, visit https://health.ri.gov/oralhealth/ and click Find Dental Care.

Financing Dental Care

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 the 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 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 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. A 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 a low cost. Students are supervised by faculty which 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 vary 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  mmclaren@DentalLifeline.org

  • Rhode Island Community Health Center Association: (To find a community health center near you)   401-274-1771   info@rihca.org

  • 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

For more information about financing oral healthcare in Rhode Island, see these resources:

DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE

The information on the Rhode Island Cancer and Oral Health Resource Guide, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images, and other external materials are for informational purposes only. The Partnership to Reduce Cancer in Rhode Island does not provide medical advice. The information on this website is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.