Dental van offers seniors free care
MARLBOROUGH – The problem:
Health experts say that seniors, squeezed by limited budgets and declining dental coverage, often neglect their teeth. “What I’ve been hearing is that people haven’t been to the dentist in years, mainly because of the high cost of care,” said Nancy Fernandez, a nurse for Marlborough’s Council on Aging. “Many do everything else for the rest of their bodies, but the teeth are the last thing.”
Michael Henry of the Massachusetts Dental Society sees the same problem. “Many say, ‘why should I spend $5,000 to get dental work done when I might die tomorrow?,’” he says. “They would rather leave the money to their kids. They don’t realize that it lowers their quality of life if they can’t chew properly or if their mouth gets infected.”
Early this month, the Massachusetts Dental Society van brought free dental care to the Marlborough Senior Center. The van traditionally serves disadvantaged children and only recently expanded its services to seniors in Marlborough, Waltham and Natick. On March 6, 14 Marlborough seniors received free checkups and screenings for oral cancer and other problems from dentists John Giordano, of Worcester, and Linda Drennen, of Milford. A grant from the Marlborough-based office of Boston Scientific helped pay for the visit.
Free dental clinic rescheduled
Roanoke,VA – Roanoke Mission of Mercy has contacted WSLS to say the free dental clinic has been rescheduled for March of 2010. The exact days are Friday and Saturday, March 26 and 27, 2010 at the Roanoke Civic Center.
In a statement, the organization said, “Although we are disappointed in the delay to bringing much needed dental services to the underserved in the region, we are happy that we were able to reschedule early in the spring of 2010. In the interim, we will continue to work on planning, fundraising, and volunteer recruitment for the project.
We hope this extra time will allow us to recruit additional dental and medical professionals and enhance our ability to treat more patients.“