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Correction: Appointments are necessary for dental services at La Misíon Family Health Care during hours of operation 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 210-626-0600.

Services are reduced or free for eligible low-income or homeless.  

Paula Christine Schuler

pschuler1@student.alamo.edu 

Students do not need to wait until they graduate and find that great job to keep their teeth in great shape.

Dental schools, nonprofit organizations and government programs offer clinics for low-income and homeless individuals.

Clinics operate with a wide variety of eligibility criteria.

Some provide basic services and do not accept patients with Medicaid, Medicare or insurance. Other clinics accept all types of patients but offer sliding fees based on household income and size.

Potential patients may need to provide identification and proof of income and residency. Some ask for proof of financial aid in the form of an award letter or notification.

La Mision Family Health Care offers basic care for all ages. Discounts can be as much as 75 percent off depending on eligibility, dental assistant Lucy Morales said. This clinic is open 9 a.m.-p.m. Monday through Friday with no appointment necessary, she said. Call 210-626-0600.

CentroMed is a nonprofit offering low-cost dental services at four area clinics. No appointment is needed for the screening interview.

Dental services on a sliding fee are available at clinics at 5542 Walzem Road, 910 Wagner Ave. and 7315 S. Loop 1604 W. Call 210-637-2450 for information.

San Antonio Christian Dental Clinic Inc., 1 Haven for Hope Way, offers free services.

Receptionist Selena Sanchez said if applicants cannot provide proof of residence with a lease or property tax document, then they can obtain a letter from the person offering them temporary housing or discuss a homeless situation.

The clinic is staffed by volunteers who offer one emergency dental visit for individuals who do not qualify for free services. Call 210-220-2300 to schedule an eligibility appointment.

Wesley Health and Wellness Dental Center offers services for all ages on a sliding fee scale. They serve individuals who do not have Medicaid, Medicare or insurance.

Dental receptionist Beatrice Martinez said the clinic has a freeze on new patient enrollments.

“We are telling people to keep checking day to day,” she said.

Call 210-922-6922 and visit when the freeze is lifted, she said.

The Affordable Health Care Act, scheduled to begin in 2014, mandates dental coverage only for children.

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