Thousands of Middle Tennesseans go to emergency rooms with dental issues every year because they lack dental insurance or the resources to payfor private dental care. The two Interfaith Dentalclinicshere receive on average 100 phone calls per day, with only about 10 percent being current program patients. If a patient calls in pain with an emergency need, they try to get them in to relieve them of their pain, or direct them to another clinic that may better meet their needs.
Based on statistics that one in five people living in poverty is suffering from dental disease, Interfaith estimates that would be around 87,000 people, just in Davidson county.
Free medical and dental services
I often write about free food, free admissions and other nice freebies that we can take advantage of.
But today my topic is more important and more urgent — the free medical and dental services that are being offered to uninsured or underinsured and low income people here in Middle Tennessee at several locations this month.
Most of these "local medical mission" events enlist goodhearted professional volunteers to provide these crucial services at no cost to the patients, and most are offered on a first come first served basis.
Thank you to the volunteers who make this possible. And if you are reading this, please share this information with people and agencies that work with individuals who desperately need medical help, dental work, vision screenings, glasses, etc.
Medical missions coming up this month:
•The annualMedical/Dental MissionthatChurch of the Messiahhas offered every fall in downtown Nashville is being held in Lebanon this year at Generation Changers Church from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Sept. 22.
It is a one-day event with volunteers providing free medical screenings, an eye clinic (vision screenings and glasses), social services, pastoral counseling and two mobile dental units providing services.First come first served and the advice is to arrive early. Location: 533 Wildcat Way in Lebanon, TN.
Ongoing sources of affordable dental work
One of the most active providers of dental care to the elderly, uninsured and working poor is the Interfaith Dental Clinic, which has clinics in Nashville and Murfreesboro. The two clinics last year provided services to 2,577 patients through 12,977 patient visits, which translates into more than $5.1 million in services. All patients pay on a sliding fee scale, with most paying 20 percent of market cost. The clinic's model is to ask patients to pay what they can, to use as many clinical volunteers as possible to provide the care (4,954 volunteer hours last year) and to raise the remaining costs through fundraisers and other initiatives, such as the Do the Bright Thing — Whiten Your Teeth for Charity promotion. Details: www.interfaithdentalclinic.com or call 615-329-4790
TheTennessee State University Dental Hygiene Clinicstudent clinic offers basic cleanings for children for $15 and screening and cleanings for adults for $25. Details: 615-963-5791 or see [email protected]
Meharry Medical College's School of Dentistryalso has a student clinic, which offers services such as fillings, dentures, crowns and bridges at about one-third of private practice rates. Details: 615-327-6669.
Remington College has a Dental Hygiene Programat its Nashville campus, 441 Donelson Pike, Suite 150, with student clinics providing low-cost procedures for the public, including cleaning and fluoride treatments, X-rays, tooth print child identification impressions, oral cancer screenings, and dental sealants. Details: 615-493-9398.
In Davidson County, 14 percent of adults are uninsured, according to the United States Census Bureau. “Many uninsured and underinsured middle Tennesseans fall into the health insurance ‘coverage gap,’ and struggle to afford healthcare,” said Saint Thomas Health President and Chief Executive Officer, Karen Springer. “Saint Thomas Health and Ascension feel a deep calling to serve the poor and vulnerable through medical missions at home."
Curtisey of Ms. Cheap.
Reach Ms. Cheap at 615-259-8282 or [email protected] Follow her on Facebook at facebook.com/mscheap, and at Tennessean.com/mscheap.
Author:Dorothy Lee Phone: 615-973-6363 Dated: September 19th 2017 Views: 189 About Dorothy: Dorothy Lee’s 22+ years extensive knowledge and experience in Real Estate provides her a unique v...
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