The National Association of Dental Plans estimates that approximately 74 million Americans do not have dental coverage.
This means that about 23% of the population, more than double the percentage of the population without health insurance, may not be able to afford basic dental services like cleanings, fillings. or extractions.
The good news is that there are several great local resources, including context missions and ongoing clinics, which will provide free or discounted dental services and some medical services to those in need.
Here are some clinics from the fall calendar.
Free medical clinic
There is a three-day community medical clinic, with free medical and dental services, September 12-14 at Messiah’s Church, 88 Lafayette St., across from Cameron Prep School in downtown Nashville.
Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The clinic – which will include the Brentwood mobile dental units set up to perform x-rays, cleanings, extractions, fillings and more – has been held every fall for over a dozen years. Sponsored by The Church of the Messiah, Brentwood Baptist and Generation Changers, the clinic will offer eye tests, readers, flu shots, HIV tests and counseling.
“We plan to serve over 400 people this year,” said Dr Michael Vaughan, one of the organizers. All services are offered free of charge.
More Ms cheap: Subscribe to its weekly newsletter
Free dental day
Village Crest Family Dental is hosting a Free Dental Day on September 13, during which residents of Smyrna and the surrounding area can receive free cleaning or extraction.
Dentistry day hours are 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the dental office located at 315 Sam Ridley Parkway West in Smyrna. Patients will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. The dental office hopes to serve more than 100 patients.
Dr. David Roach’s eighth annual Heartless Dentistry Day will be held on November 1 in his office at 3824 Bedford Ave. in Green Hills. Volunteer staff will provide one free service per patient, with a choice of free filling, cleaning or extraction for the first 100 patients of the day.
The team starts seeing patients at 7:30 a.m., but the queue is forming much earlier.
Last year, Roach’s office helped around 100 patients.
Interfaith dental clinic
One of the most active dental providers for the elderly, the uninsured and the working poor is Interfaith Dental, which has clinics in Nashville and Murfreesboro.
The two clinics served 3,022 patients last year, translating into more than $ 6.7 million in services. All patients pay on a sliding scale of fees, with most paying 20% of market cost.
The clinic model is to ask patients to pay what they can, use as many clinical volunteers as possible to provide care (over 5,000 volunteer hours last year) and cover the remaining costs. through fundraising and other initiatives.
Matthew Walker Centers
Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Centers in Nashville and Clarksville offer a full range of affordable dental services including dental exams and cleanings, teeth whitening, oral cancer screenings, dentures, prosthetics partial, fillings, crowns, tooth extractions, root canals and implants. The fees are on a sliding income scale.
Neighborhood Health Centers, with three dental centers in Nashville and one in Lebanon, offer a wide range of affordable dental care services, including examinations and cleanings, dentures, partial dentures, fillings, crowns and dental extractions. The centers serve everyone from children and the elderly, to people without insurance, to people with TennCare or commercial coverage. In 2018, Neighborhood Health provided dental care to 3,633 patients. The fees are on a sliding income scale.
Chrysalis oral health care
Chrysalis Oral Health Care Alliance is a non-profit organization that partners with existing agencies such as Faith Family Medical Center to provide access to preventive and restorative dental care to underserved, underinsured and vulnerable populations in the region. of Nashville. Fees are determined on a sliding scale. Patients simply need to provide proof of income. There are no stipulations regarding employment and they see patients who are referred by nonprofit partners as well as others.
Tennessee State University’s Dental Hygiene Clinic has a student clinic that offers basic dental screenings and cleanings for children and adults at discounted rates.
Details: tnstate.edu/dentalhygiene/clinic.aspx or 615-963-5791
Meharry Medical College’s School of Dentistry also has a student clinic, which offers services such as fillings, dentures, crowns, and bridges at around one-third the cost of private practices. Meharry also has a free, student-run Saltwagon clinic at various locations that offers dental services on select Thursday evenings.
Details on the two Meharry clinics: 615-327-6900
Contact Ms. Cheap at 615-259-8282 or [email protected]. Follow her on Facebook at facebook.com/mscheap, and on Tennessean.com/mscheap, and on Twitter @Ms_Cheap, and catch her every Thursday at 11 am on WTVF-Channel 5’s “Talk of the Town”.