Free and Sliding-Scale Dental Clinics in New York City if You Don't Have Insurance

Blanche Palasi
Blanche Palasi10 May 2023

Finding affordable dental care in New York City can be challenging, especially if you are uninsured or underinsured. Many free and sliding-scale options are available to help NYC residents access high-quality dental services regardless of cost. Dental clinics, schools, and community outreach centers offer routine and emergency dental services.

Sliding Scale Dental Clinics in New York City

Instead of charging every patient a set fee, sliding scale fees consider the patient’s income. Low-income or uninsured patients are assigned less than the market value. This provides healthcare at a low cost to those who cannot afford it. The price you pay at the clinic is determined by the Federal Poverty Level and an individual’s household size.

The sliding scale program only ensures reduced fees for services your prescriber deems medically necessary. This excludes prescription medications, co-pays, co-insurance, and personal items. If you cannot pay the slide scale fee, you can call the dental clinic for more information about payment plans or discounts. 

Although no dental clinics offer completely free dental services, standard dental services are sometimes offered at no cost depending on where you fall in the clinic’s sliding scale. 

Sliding Scale Dental Clinics in New York, NY

NameAddressServices Provided
Access Community Health Center - Maiden Lane

83 Maiden Lane New York, NY 10038

Phone: (212) 780-2500

  • Dental Exams
  • X-Rays
  • Cleaning
  • Emergency Services
  • Restorative Services
Charles B. Wang Community Health Center


131-72 40th Road, 2nd Fl Flushing, NY 11354

Phone: (718) 587-1111


125 Walker Street 2nd Fl 

New York, NY 10013

Phone: (212) 226-9339

  • General examination
  • Teeth cleaning
  • Dental x-rays
  • Dental fillings and crowns
  • Tooth extraction
  • Root canals
  • Basic periodontal treatment
  • Denture and bridge care
  • Referrals and care coordination with specialists
  • Outreach and health education programs to promote oral health
Family Health Center of Harlem

1824 Madison Ave

New York, NY - 10035

Phone: (212) 423-4400

  • Exams and cleanings
  • Radiographs
  • Crowns and bridges
  • Extractions
  • Complete and partial dentures
  • Valplasts
  • Root canal therapy
  • Oral surgery
  • Pediatric Dentistry
Heritage Health and Housing Details

416 W 127th St

New York, NY - 10027

Phone: (212) 866-2600

  • Digital X-rays
  • Complete exam
  • Cleanings
  • Fillings
  • Crowns
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Oral surgery
  • Endodontics
  • Periodontics
  • Prosthodontics
  • Orthodontics
  • Urgent and emergent care
  • Management of complex cases and making appropriate referrals to specialists when necessary

Dental School Patient Clinics 

Getting dental procedures performed at local dental schools is an excellent opportunity to access low-cost dental care. Dental and dental hygiene students perform routine dental services under the supervision of licensed dentists. Because these programs are used to teach students, the services are heavily discounted. They are typically the same quality as a dental office. However, these schools require patients to contact the school to make an appointment.

Dental School Patient Clinics in New York, NY 

NameAddressServices Provided
NYC College of Technology (NYCCT) Dental Hygiene

285 Jay Street Academic Building 701 (A-701) 

Brooklyn, NY 11201

Phone: (718) 260-5074

Email: [email protected]

Appointment Form found here

  • Dental cleaning
  • Plaque-scoring with oral hygiene care plan
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Extra-oral and intra-oral cancer screening
  • Dental mapping
  • Periodontal charting
  • Hand/ultrasonic scaling and root planning
  • Fluoride treatment


NYU College of Dentistry 


345 E 24th St, New York, NY 10010

Phone: (212) 998-9800


336 Flatbush Ave Ext Floor 4A

Brooklyn, NY 11201

Phone: (646) 997-4300

Appointment Form found here

  • General dentistry (preventative dental care and dental hygiene)
  • Emergency services
  • Endodontics and root canals
  • Dental implants
  • Tooth extractions
  • Oral medicine and pathology
  • Orofacial and head pain
  • Orthodontics
  • Pediatric dentistry
  • Gum disease
  • Crowns and bridges
  • Special needs care (offered by NYU Dentistry Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities)
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NYC College of Technology (NYCCT) Dental Hygiene

Dental hygiene students enrolled in NYCCT offer deep cleanings and X-rays to community members. The clinic is located on the college’s campus at 285 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY, on the 7th Floor. You can make appointments through email, phone, or by messaging them on Instagram.

Treatments are performed by dental hygiene students and are supervised by faculty and other dental professionals. The service is offered to individuals 18 years or older. The total cost of the cleaning is $10 for seniors and $20 for all others, regardless of insurance status. Bite-wing X-rays will cost an additional $10, while full-mouth and panoramic X-rays will cost $15.

Students state that the cleanings usually take 3 hours to ensure thorough cleaning. Patients may require 1-3 cleaning sessions based on the amount of plaque, tartar, and inflammation. However, one Yelp user claims the treatment lasted 20 minutes, excluding wait time. 

NYU College of Dentistry

Dental students and faculty at New York University’s College of Dentistry offer quality and affordable services for patients in NYC. You can call 212-988-9800 to schedule an appointment. Upon your first visit, come prepared with identification and your insurance or Medicaid card if you have one. Your initial visit will last approximately 90 minutes to register you as a new patient and complete any necessary X-rays. During your second visit, your dental team will conduct a comprehensive oral exam to assess your health.

The college also offers emergency care by appointment only, including for loose or broken restorations/fillings, excessive bleeding, swelling, oral infection, and trauma. Most patients seeking urgent care services will be charged a $75 fee; this covers the cost of a limited examination and X-rays. If patients cannot be seen during the clinic’s hours of Monday-Friday 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM, they could be referred to Bellevue Hospital. However, patients are responsible for any fees associated with an emergency room visit and other expenses if seen at Bellevue.

NYU is contracted for dental services by the State of New York Medicaid Governmental Plan and accepts all patients with Medicaid coverage. If you are paying for dental services out-of-pocket, a $135 fee is charged during registration. Third-party financing options are available through Care Credit and Lending Club. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Free and Sliding Scale Dental Services in NYC

You can find many high-quality dental services without sacrificing an affordable price. Below are some questions about accessing low-cost dental care in New York City.

How Can I Join a Clinical Trial?

Clinical trials hosted by the National Institutes of Dental and Craniofacial Research seek volunteers with specific dental conditions to participate in clinical trials at a low cost. Dental clinics may also offer clinical trials. You can search which clinical trials you may be eligible for.

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Should I Get Dental Insurance?

There are many low-cost options available for routine dental care, such as cleanings and checkups. However, enrolling in dental insurance may be a good idea if you often need additional dental services, have a large family who also goes to the dentist regularly, or can’t pay for dental procedures out-of-pocket. You can enroll in dental plans through the federal or state healthcare marketplaces for as little as $10 per month. If you’re concerned about the extensive waiting periods before your coverage begins, you can also enroll in a dental plan with no waiting period

How Can I Get Free Dental Care for My Child?

Many of the clinics above offer pediatric services for eligible patients. In addition, Medicaid’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) offers coverage for people under 19 years old. This includes any dental services that are medically necessary to promote oral health, restorative services, and emergency services. 

Bottom Line

Dental services are often difficult to locate and expensive. Fortunately, many options in NYC allow patients to get necessary dental care at a fraction of the market cost. Dental clinics and dental schools offer routine and emergency care for free or at highly reduced rates. Each location may differ, so it is best to contact the organization to clarify details about insurance coverage, cost, business hours, and what services they offer. 

Blanche Palasi

Blanche Palasi is a 2024 PharmD. Candidate currently attending St. John's University. A Queens native, she is passionate about helping patients identify and navigate social determinants of health.