Of all of the states I contacted, I received the most comprehensive answer from South Dakota for free dental care.
It was so comprehensive, with contact numbers, that I am just going to share the email with you…
There are a few programs and projects in South Dakota to help folks with dental needs, but most are geared toward children, the elderly or the disabled. There are a few options to consider however:
Free Dental Care in South Dakota
Community Health Center (CHC) – Dental Clinics. These are public health clinics that provide care on a sliding scale based on income. These clinics accept both Medicaid patients and fee-for service patients. For an appointment call:
- Falls CHC – Sioux Falls (605) 367-7110
- Rapid City CHC – Rapid City (605) 394-5213
- Bennett County CHC – Martin (605) 685-1046
- Prairie Winds Dental Center – Howard (605) 772-4703
- Horizon Health – Wessington Springs (605) 539-1381
- Horizon Health – DeSmet (605) 854-3444
Medicaid Referral Center – If you are eligible for Medicaid, but cannot find a dentist that is accepting new Medicaid patients you might consider the Medicaid Referral Center operated by Delta Dental of South Dakota.
They manage the South Dakota Dental Medicaid Program through a contract with the South Dakota Department of Social Services. The Referral Center seeks to match dentists with open appointments with Medicaid patients seeking dental care. Contact the Medicaid Referral Center at 1-800-627-3961.
Delta Dental Plan of South Dakota operates the Dakota Smiles Program. This is a mobile dental program that accepts patients that do not have a dental home. The mobile units (2) travel throughout the state and spend approximately one week at a time in local host communities. The Dakota Smiles schedule is posted on Delta’s web site: www.deltadentalsd.com.
The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile treats children only (21 years of age and younger). The Smile Mobile partners with Community Health Centers in rural parts of the state providing care two or three weeks a year at each location and can treat patients of all ages. Local community health centers make appointments for their patients to be treated on the Smile Mobile. The follow are centers that partner with the Smile Mobile:
- Alcester (605) 934-2122; Bison (605) 244-5206; Eagle Butte (605) 964-2702;
- Faith (605) 967-2644; Ft. Pierre (605) 223-2200; Gettysburg (605) 765-2273;
- Highmore (605) 852-2238; Isabel (605) 466-2120; McIntosh (605) 273-4335;
- Mission (605) 856-2295; Onida (605) 258-2635; Plankinton (800) 584-7086;
- Presho (605) 895-2589; White River (605) 259-3121
The Donated Dental Service Program – This program matches eligible people (the elderly, 65 and over, and disabled. The disability must be as such that it limits your ability to work) with dentists across the state who have agreed to donate their services.
You are welcome to contact the South Dakota program coordinator to see if you qualify – Mrs. Brenda Goeden at 866-551-8023. She only works part-time, so you may need to leave a message.
Give Kids a Smile Program – During the month of February a number of South Dakota dentists participate in this one-day-a-year program and donate dental care to young children. To find out if a dentist in your area participates in the program contact the Medicaid Referral Center at 1-800-627-3961, and tell them your child would like to be on the list to see a dentist through the Give Kids a Smile Program.
Some counties provide emergency assistance for medical and dental needs through the county welfare offices. I’m not familiar with their eligibility requirements, but it’s usually a resource of last resort.
The last option is to contact a local dentist about your situation and see if he or she would be willing to help you. Many of the dentists who are members of the South Dakota Dental Association will provide dental care at a reduced fee for individuals who need help. They may also be willing to have you pay your bill over a period of time.
Thank you for contacting us, and good luck.
So my compliments and thanks to the South Dakota Dental Association for sending out such a detailed answer.