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Accessing oral health care


Health Plan of San Mateo (Medi-Cal) health and dental insurance

As of January 1, 2022, Health Plan of San Mateo (HPSM) Dental began covering the dental benefits for San Mateo County community members eligible for Medi-Cal. That means, as an HPSM Medi-Cal member:

  • Your dental benefits are managed locally by HPSM
  • You only need to call one phone number for information about both your health care and dental care
  • You only need one card to use your health and dental benefits
  • Download the HPSM Dental Quick Start Guide for HPSM members here: HPSM Dental Quick Guide for HPSM Members

Health Plan of San Mateo Dental contact information

  • Call HPSM Member Services, Monday-Friday 8:00am-6:00pm:

    • Toll free: 1-800-750-4776
    • Local: 650-616-2133
    • TTY: 1-800-735-2929 or dial 7-1-1
  • Email:

Search the HPSM online provider directory for a dentist near you

  • ​Search a map of HPSM Dental providers for children and adults in San Mateo County here.
  • A Medi-Cal Provider directory–which includes dental providers– can be downloaded at the bottom of this HPSM member webpagein multiple languages. 
    • If you’d like a directory mailed to you, send an email to Please include your: 
      • First and last name
      • Daytime phone number
      • Mailing address
      • Let them know you’d like the Medi-Cal provider directory

How to prepare for your dental visit with a HPSM Dental provider

  • Bring both your HPSM ID card and your Medi-Cal BIC card to your dental appointments.
  • For other tips on how to prepare your child for their first dental visit, click here.

Health Coverage Options for Children Without Insurance

Medi-Cal offers free or low-cost coverage for children under age 19. Coverage includes primary care, emergency services, dental, vision, and prescriptions. Families can apply online at Covered CalifoniaSMC Human Services Agency, or SMC Health Coverage Unit. The SMC Health Coverage Unit can also be contacted via telephone at (650) 616-2002.

Apply early for Medi-Cal, as the process may take 1-2 months. 

San Mateo Medical Center Dental Clinics

San Mateo Medical Center’s dental clinics provide general, specialty and emergency dental care to people of all ages, including pregnant people, people living with HIV/AIDs, people with mental health conditions, and the unhoused. If you are new to San Mateo Medical Center, visit our New Patients page to apply for health insurance or to schedule your first appointment.

SMMC Dental clinics are located in the cities below. 

If you are a new patient, please call the New Patient Connection Center at (650) 372-3200 to make your first appointment.

Emergency dental care 

Anyone needing emergency dental care - regardless of insurance status- can walk into San Mateo Medical Center’s Dental Clinics without an appointment during the times listed below, Monday through Friday. 

It is recommended to be at these clinics before the opening times listed below.

Low or no cost dental clinics for those without  dental insurance

To enroll in dental insurance, contact our Health Coverage Unit by calling (650) 616-2002. Visit the Health Coverage Unit website for more information.  

Dental clinics providing care for the uninsured

Ravenswood Family Health Center Dental Clinic

  • Serving people of all ages, pregnant people, and children with special needs at their clinic in East Palo Alto
  • Phone: 650-330-7400

Samaritan House Dental Clinic

  • Serving adults by appointment only at two clinics in San Mateo and Redwood City
  • San Mateo clinic phone: 650-578-0400
  • Redwood City clinic phone: 650-839-1447

Sonrisas Dental Health

  • Serving people of all ages, pregnant people, and children with special needs at two clinics in Half Moon Bay and San Mateo.
  • Half Moon Bay clinic phone: 650-726-2144 
  • San Mateo clinic phone: 650-727-3480 

Dental school clinics

Foothill College Dental Hygiene Clinic 

  • Open to the public. There is a cost for cleanings and X-rays. See the link above for costs. Because services are performed by students, your appointment will require more time than in a private dental office. 
  • Located at Foothill College’s Main Campus in Los Altos Hills
  • Phone: 650-949-7335

University of the Pacific Dental Hygiene Clinic

  • Open to all ages. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. There is a cost for cleanings, X-rays and other preventive services, but costs are about 30 – 40% lower than a typical Bay Area private dental office.
  • Located at the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in San Francisco
  • Phone: 415-929-6408

University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Dentistry Student Clinic

  • Offers cleanings and other services. There is a cost for services.
  • Located in San Francisco
  • Phone: 416-476-1891

Dental Societies

If all the options listed above have been tried to find a dental home (a regular dentist), or to get dental care, contact one of the San Mateo County dental societies for further assistance.

San Mateo County Dental Society 

  • Covers all of San Mateo County except Menlo Park
  • (650) 637-1121

Mid-Peninsula Dental Society

  • Covers Menlo Park in San Mateo County
  • Covers Los Altos, Mountain View, and Palo Alto in Santa Clara County
  • (650) 328-2242

San Mateo County Access and Care for Everyone (ACE) health care coverage

The ACE program is for adults age 19 and above who are not eligible for other state and federal insurance programs. It covers the costs of emergency dental care only, if this emergency care is received at one of the clinics listed below.

A dental condition is considered an emergency if it:​

  • Causes severe pain, or a serious illness or injury
  • Puts your health in serious danger
  • Causes serious harm to the way your body works, or
  • Causes serious damage of any body organ or body part

The ACE program will cover the costs of emergency dental care if received at: