Healthcare Cost

Sliding-Scale Dental Clinics in Houston if You Don't Have Insurance

Alexandra Thompson
Alexandra Thompson28 Apr 2023

If you do not have dental insurance or cannot pay for dental services out of pocket, visiting a sliding-scale or free dental clinic can be the perfect way to maintain your dental health. Select dental clinics utilize a sliding scale billing schedule that determines how much you pay for services based on your income level and where you fall on the Federal Poverty Line (FPL). Sometimes, community centers and dental school-affiliated clinics will offer free dental care. This article highlights free and sliding-scale dental clinics in Houston, Texas.  

Sliding-Scale Dental Clinics 

Dental clinics that utilize a sliding-scale payment system discount the cost of services based on each patient's ability to pay. The federal poverty level or guidelines determine each patient's level of financial needs. Dental clinics have complete control of deciding discount levels; therefore, the amount you pay can vary from clinic to clinic. However, it's important to note that sliding-scale dental clinics cannot deny patients due to their inability to pay for their services. 

To make an appointment and find out more pricing information, it's best to contact the dental clinic directly, as the information online may need to be updated. The chart below lists sliding-scale dental clinics in the Houston area. 

Sliding-Scale Dental Clinics in Houston, TX 

Name Address Services Provided 
Avenue 360 Dental Clinic 

1427 Hawthorne Street

Houston, TX - 77006 


Phone: (713) 341-3790

  • General Dentistry
  • Cleanings
  • Sealants
  • Cavity prevention
  • X-rays
  • Oral Medicine/Oral Pathology
  • Treatment of oral warts, lesions, tumors
  • Prosthodontics
  • Tooth replacement: crowns, bridges and dentures
  • Periodontics
  • Treatment of gum disease
  • Endodontics
  • Root canal therapy
  • Oral Surgery
Central Care Integrated Health Services 

1102 Pinemont Drive

Houston, TX - 77018 


Phone: (281) 822-0900

Pediatric dentistry:

  • Biennial examinations
  • Simple surgical dentistry (removal, wisdom teeth, etc.)
  • Endodontic services (root canals, etc.).


  • Biannual examinations
  • Routine tests
  • Cleaning
  • X-rays
  • Fluoride treatments and varnishes


  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Dental crowns
  • Dental implants
  • Tooth removal of impacted wisdom
  • Prostheses and complex periodontal gum disease
  • Simple oral surgery
  • Urgent care
  • Oral pain, cracked teeth and more


Legacy Community Health Montrose Clinic


1415 California St.

Houston, TX - 77006


Phone: (832) 548-5100


Lyons Clinic Houston Dental Clinic - Legacy Community Health 


3811 Lyons Ave

Houston, TX - 77020 


Phone: (832) 548-5400

  • Dental Health Exams and Screenings
  • Crown Fillings
  • Urgent Care
  • Partial Dentures

Free Dental Clinics    

While there are no clinics in Houston that are designated to provide free dental services, the above clinics listed as a sliding scale can provide free dental care, depending on your income level and what services you are looking for. The most common services that are available at no cost are: 

About Dental Hygiene Clinics   

Dental hygiene programs and dental schools typically have clinical sites on campus that take in patients who are looking for free or low-cost dental care. Students perform dental services and treatments under the supervision of licensed clinical supervisors. It's important to note that the level of care and treatment options are very similar to that of a traditional dental office.  

Several dental hygiene clinics in the Houston Area are open to the general public. To learn more about each clinic's services and how to make an appointment, you should call the clinic directly—the chart below highlights dental hygiene and dental school clinics. 

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Dental Hygiene and Dental School Clinics in Houston, TX 

Name Address Hours 

West Houston Community Dental Care Clinic


12121 Westheimer Rd.

Suite #205

Houston, Texas 77077 


Phone: (713)-773-0803 

Monday from 11:00am - 7:00pm 


Tuesday - Friday from 8:00am - 5:00pm 

UTHealth School of Dentistry 

7500 Cambridge St.

Houston, TX 77054 


Phone: (713)-486-4000

Monday - Friday from 8:00am - 5:00pm 
Coleman College for Health Sciences, Houston 

1900 Pressler St.

Houston, TX 77030 


Phone: (713)-718-7292

Monday - Friday from 8:00am - 5:00 pm 
PIMA Medical Institute Dental Clinic

11125 Equity Drive, Suite 100

Houston, TX 77041

Phone: (713)-395-5454

Monday - Friday from 8:00am - 5:00 pm 

Frequently Asked Questions about Sliding Scale Dentists in Houston (FAQ)  

Below are frequently asked questions regarding sliding scale qualifications, dental insurance, and bottom-line cost.

How do I know where I fall on the Federal Poverty Line (FPL)?    

Federal Poverty Guidelines are based on your annual income and how many people are in your household. The federal guidelines universally apply to 48 states and Washington, D.C., while Alaska and Hawaii have their own guidelines.

2023 Federal Poverty Guidelines 

What if I cannot pay for the sliding scale fee?  

If you visit a sliding-scale dental clinic, and cannot pay for the cost of your care, ask your provider about payment plan options that allow you to pay for the cost of your care over a set amount of months. However, before making an appointment, calling the clinic of interest is recommended to gather information on their prices and payment options. 

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Should I consider getting Dental Insurance?  

Dental insurance might not be necessary for everyone. However, if you are prone to dental health issues, paying the monthly premium for insurance can save you thousands in the long run. You should consider investing in dental insurance if

  • You go to the dentist often for regular checkups and or cleanings.
  • You often need additional services, such as fillings, when you go to the dentist.
  • You have a large family with many children who also go to the dentist regularly.
  • You are unable to pay the cost of dental procedures out-of-pocket.

However, if you do not go to the dentist often and do not tend to need any additional services, dental insurance may not be necessary. It is always a good idea to compare how much you would pay out-of-pocket at the dentist with the amount you would pay for insurance. 

Is Dental Insurance Affordable?  

Surprisingly, dental insurance is much more affordable than traditional health insurance plans. In Texas, the average monthly premium for dental insurance is $12.11, and the deductible is around $76.00. Dental insurance can be purchased through the state or federal marketplace, by itself, or with a traditional health plan. However, it's important to note that with the combination plan, you cannot cancel your dental insurance without canceling your health insurance coverage. 

Bottom Line  

Dental care can be expensive; however, maintaining good dental hygiene is crucial to your health. If you live in the Houston area (or another major city!), Dental schools or sliding hygiene clinics are a great option if you cannot afford traditional out-of-pocket costs, don’t want to invest in dental insurance, or want to save money. During your visit, your dentist can assess current dental health and whether prolonged issues will require more frequent visits. If you fall into the latter category, ask about other discounted options or low-cost insurance plans that fit your budget. 

Alexandra Thompson

Originally from Houston, Texas, Alexandra is currently getting her Master's in Public Health with a health policy certificate at Columbia University. One of her life goals is to own her own art gallery!