Free Dental Clinics Provide Care For Low-Income Residents

Recession taking toll on several area dentists: Recession takes a big bite out of dentists’ workload

Jan. 7–There was the middle-aged tool-and-die machinist who planned to have his dentist fill five cavities and fix two broken teeth. Half of the costly treatment would have been covered by the man’s health insurance, but the Crawford County shop he worked at closed this year.

Uninsured and unable to pay for the procedures, he left his dentist and sought help from a free medical clinic.

The study said as much as half of the nation’s dentists reported feeling some effects of the recession, including an increase in patients putting off elective procedures or seeking treatment at free medical clinics.


NSU To Provide Free Dental Care For Some Kids

Hundreds of underprivileged elementary school kids in North Miami Beach, and their parents now how something to smile about.

More than 400 students at three elementary schools are eligible for the free care, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.


Dental benefits cut will cost us

As indicated by Irish Dental Association chief executive Fintan Hourihan (‘Taxpayers told time is running out for claiming free dental care’, Irish Independent, December 18, 2009), the narrow window provided for patients to retain certain dental benefits for treatment since relevant cuts were announced in the December Budget has now closed, as of January 1.


Free dental clinic is scheduled

Volunteers will provide free dental care over two days in February. Meals will be provided, too.

One of the largest dental care events in Oklahoma history is planned for Feb. 5-6 in downtown Tulsa, and it will be a sight to behold, the president of the Oklahoma Dental Association said.


Improving dental care a critical need

Those who don’t take care of their teeth, either because of cost or indifference, run the risk of serious medical emergency, as evidenced by a Westmoreland County man who recently ended up with a $43,992 bill because he didn’t have the $25 for a follow-up dental appointment at the Northern Neck Free Health Clinic.

While we wait forever for dental care to be reformed nationwide, some modest programs currently are available to area residents.

The Family Access to Medical Insurance Security Plan (FAMIS) covers Virginia’s children or pregnant mothers based on income. Fortunately, no copays or monthly premiums are required.

The Moss Free Clinic in Fredericksburg will see low income adults if they have no health insurance, including no Medicaid and Medicare (even though those government programs do not cover dental needs, other than maybe an emergency extraction).

The free clinic appeals to area dentists to donate their time, now in their own dental offices because clinic space is limited.

The new Rappahannock Community Health Center for low-income residents, also located in Fredericksburg, has a dentist on staff, but there’s a waiting list of five months. Ouch.

Germanna Community College dental hygiene students will provide free cleanings, but there’s a huge need for total dental care. I can imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t have the many fillings, and a few crowns, that keep my teeth functioning.

Unfortunately, this enormous problem of providing dental care to low-income residents is not going to be fixed anytime soon, so area dentists who do not currently contribute some time should count their blessings and add “charity care” to their New Year’s Resolution list.


MDA to offer free dental clinic to children for 8th straight year

In an attempt to provide essential dentistry care for children who cannot afford the costs for appointments or appropriate insurance, a group of Minnesota dentists has announced it will provide free dental care this February.