On July 1, 2009 Medi-Cal stopped covering several optional benefits for adults, including dental care. However, as of May 1, 2014, many adult dental services were restored. These services include:
- Dental cleaning
- Oral x-rays
- Root canals
- Some fillings and crowns
A complete list of the restored benefits can be found online. Benefits for Medi-Cal eligible children will remain unchanged.
For services that Denti-Cal does not cover, below are some suggestions of types of places to search for low cost dental care:
- Community clinics. Some community clinics offer dental care and some charge on a sliding fee scale basis, meaning they charge you less if you have a lower income.
- Dentistry schools and dental hygiene schools. Many dental schools offer free or low cost cleanings and dental exams performed by the students.
- The California Dental Association has a tool to search for low cost dental care.
- Your local dental district society may be able to help you find a local dentist that charges on a sliding fee scale basis. Beware of any dental credit card that your dentist offers you. Dental credit cards often have very high interest rates after a short interest free period. The interest free period often ends early if there is a late or missed payment.
- Individual dental insurance. Dental insurance is often low cost. It can cost less than $10 a month and be cheaper than paying for dental care out of pocket. Beware of discount plans! Discount plans only offer a small discount on your dental costs, not actual coverage of your dental care like an insurance plan. Always be sure to read the fine print when purchasing an insurance plan.