We can’t say it enough. Dental care is key to maintaining good overall health, and it’s well worth the investment of time and money to see your dentist regularly for cleanings and check-ups.
Don’t believe us? We direct you to the extreme case of Deamonte Driver. In 2007, the 12 year-old boy died after bacteria from an abcess had spread to his brain. Despite two operations and six weeks of hospital care, doctors were unable to save Driver after the neglect of what had started as a toothache. Driver’s care ultimately cost more than $250,000 when a timely $80 tooth extraction could have saved his life.
Driver’s story was compounded by difficulty of access to dental care as well as an inability to find dentists willing to take the family’s Medicaid, so today we thought we would highlight one more alternative for free and low-cost dental care, especially for children: mobile dental clinics.
A number of dental associations, dental schools and other dental groups have started mobile dental clinics to bring affordabe, accessible and convenient dental care to their communities. Many mobile dental clinics prioritize serving uninsured, low-income and/or non-English-speaking families and/or children who otherwise could not otherwise afford dental care or who are unaccustomed to seeing a dentist. The mobile dental clinics makes dental care available to thousands who would be able to take a day off from work to take their children to a dentist, and many offer free or low-cost dental check-ups to families without dental insurance and/or who could not afford dental care.
This is not an exhaustive list, but here are some mobile dental clinics that we know of:
Kids in Need of Dentistry (KindSmiles) (Western Colordado)
Medical Team International Mobile Dental Clinic (Washington, Oregon, California, and Minnesota)
Queenscare Mobile Dental Clinic (Los Angeles, California)
Queen of the Valley Medical Center Children’s Mobile Dental Clinic (Napa Valley, California)
USC Community Mobile Dental Clinics (Los Angeles, California)
Kalamazoo County Mobile Dental Clinic (Michigan)
Ada Jenkins Center Mobile Community Dental Clinic (North Carolina)
The Christian Mobile Dental Clinic (Memphis, Tennessee)
Kids First Dental Services (Kentucky)
University of Kentucky Mobile Dental Clinics (Kentucky)
Columbia Community DentCare (New York, New York)
The Smile Program (throughout the Eastern United States, the Midwest, and Texas)
Have you had your dental check-up lately? Tell us about it!
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