Don’t have dental insurance? Here’s where you can go in Evansville


EVANSVILLE, Indiana – Tom Gilmore, 67, from Evansville, has not had dental insurance since quitting his job in 2009. Due to lack of insurance, Gilmore has not been cleaned regularly and ended up with a tooth abscess which led him to the emergency room. room.

“I have several bad teeth,” he said. “I wouldn’t have had dental treatment if I hadn’t come to (ECHO Dental Clinic). The only income I get is social security and disability.”

Gilmore is not alone.

Many individuals and families in the tri-state area do not have dental insurance or the financial means to pay out of pocket for a dental visit, officials say. Without dental insurance, many people have to go to the emergency room when something goes wrong rather than going to the dentist.

Three dental clinics – two opened in recent weeks – in the region work with low-income families offering free or reduced services.

Dental assistant Kaylee Warren listens to Jon Love, Evansville, tell him where his dental pain is during a visit to the ECHO Healthcare dental clinic located in downtown Evansville on Thursday, March 28, 2019.

The ECHO dental clinic opened in January and provides regular dental hygiene care (cleaning and fillings) to adults without dental insurance. The clinic hopes to expand its services to insured adults and children in the future.

“Everyone who called me told me they had nowhere to go,” Emerson said. “They don’t get these services, and that’s the problem. People will wait until there is terrible pain or if they have abscesses and can’t take it anymore. They will go to the emergency room. “

The majority of patients who visit the clinic are in pain, said Kathy Emerson, dental practice director for ECHO Community Health Care. Since opening in January, ECHO has served around 500 people without insurance.

“It’s a never-ending need,” Emerson said. “It’s just a huge need because there are a lot of people out there who don’t have dental insurance. And they can’t afford to go to the dentist.”

Delmore Williams, 42, has been without insurance for two years and recently obtained dentures through ECHO. Going without dental insurance and missing teeth for two years was painful for Williams.

“Now I feel happy,” said Williams. “It’s a great program and should be everywhere. It helps everyone, low income or no income.

Appointments are mandatory for the clinic. The staff have two dentists on site and provide services on a sliding scale of fees, meaning that fees will be based on an individual’s income and family size.

Earlier this month, the Indiana University School of Dentistry cut the ribbon for a new dental clinic on the first floor of the Stone Family Center for Health Sciences in downtown Evansville. The clinic will provide oral hygiene services to a variety of patients, including uninsured and insured when it opens in the coming weeks.

Dental assistant Kaylee Warren and dentist Ian Babb, DMD perform a tooth extraction on Justin Mercer, Boonville, at the ECHO Healthcare dental clinic in downtown Evansville on Thursday.  The clinic offers options for people with limited income or without dental insurance, March 28, 2019.

The school-run clinic plans to offer standard dental services, including cleanings, fillings and extractions. All patient care is provided by student dentists and IU faculty on clinical rotations statewide.

Although the clinic at the IU School of Dentistry is not yet open to the public, the establishment’s waiting list already has more than 200.

Once fully opened, in addition to serving uninsured patients, the clinic also accepts all dental insurance plans and is a network provider for patients with Delta Dental, Cigna and Dental Health Options private insurance plans, as well as publicly funded schemes. such as Medicaid and HIP Plus.

University of Southern Indiana Dental Clinic provides dental hygiene services to children and adults. Students are supervised by the dental hygiene faculty when providing services to patients. Hours are limited.

Dentist Ian Babb, DMD, left, and dental assistant Kaylee Warren examine an x-ray before examining a patient at the ECHO Healthcare dental clinic in downtown Evansville on Thursday, March 28, 2019.

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