En Estados Unidos existen clínicas dentales gratuitas bien asentadas que atienden a aquellos pacientes de bajos recursos que cumplan con ciertas condiciones, realizan tratamientos reconstructivos y preventivos sin costo alguno para el paciente y se mantienen de las donaciones de las iglesias de su localidad y de particulares. Según este reporte de World Dental, estas clínicas están lejos de desaparecer después de la reforma, ya que los cambios en materia dental serán introducidos por etapas. La foto también es de World Dental
clinics are locations where patients in need of dental care can get free preventative and restorative dental treatments if they meet income guidelines.
There are permanent clinics located in physical locations and there are mobile clinics that move from place to place in a region and offer services for a set period of time: the mobile dental clinics are sometimes called dental clinic vans.
Dental camps are also established for a specific time period at a physical location where patients can get basic dental examinations and services.
All of the services provided in free clinics, camps, and mobile dental clinics are offered all over the world, and are supported by different forms of funding. Some organizations are funded by the government while other organizations are fully funded by private donations, charitable organizations and grants.
Many dental schools and colleges offer free dental camps and clinics too for those people that might not be able to afford important dental procedures.
A free dental camp is an event that is offered over one or several days where people can either get dental treatments or an education about proper dental hygiene. For example, the We Care Society offered a dental camp last year in Dimapur at the Government Primary School.
Camps are set up throughout the year for children who require free dental care and who need to be educated about proper brushing techniques. The camp is operated by dental professionals in the region and the last camp held benefited more than 300 young school children.
Another dental camp was offered by the Gulf Dental College, a part of the Gulf Medical University in Ajam, in 2009. The one day camp offered free blood sugar level checks, free blood pressure checks, free body mass index checks, free dental examinations and a full demonstration on proper oral hygiene practices.
At the camp free gifts and medicines were supplied to all of the 200 patients that were in attendance. If patients required more dental work after the camp they were supplied with a fifty percent discount for future procedures too.
Post Recession Free Dental Camps and Clinics
Existing free dental clinics are going strong and will continue to do so in the post recession era. There is little doubt these clinics are in high demand; take for example the Blue Ridge Free Dental Clinic in Cashiers, North Carolina got its start as a three day free mobile dental clinic which was the dream project of a variety of churches in the area.
Now the clinic has a permanent location in Cashiers where it offers restorative dental care to families with low incomes. The clinic is still seeing an influx of many patients coming from all over the tri-state region; some patients have never had the chance to visit a dentist
due to the lack of coverage and/or funding.
This free dental clinic has dentists that are fully licensed and all services offered are free. It is fully funded by donations offered by regionally located churches, private donations and funding from various foundations. It operates without government support. This single clinic has treated more than 1200 patients last year and has performed more than 4000 procedures valuing more than $550,000.00 in 2009. The waiting list to get a visit in this clinic remains at just under 400 people throughout the year.
The H.E.L.P. free dental clinic in Hampton Virginia supplies inhabitants with similar services; the clinic offers preventative and restorative dental work at no cost to low income
families. The clinic does not however offer dental appliances like dentures
Patients that fall at or below the 200 percent federal poverty guidelines qualify for treatment. The clinic is staffed with volunteer dentists, and this non profit organization is funded via a grant supplied by United Way, the Community Impact Grant, and by the Bernadine Franciscan Sisters Foundation.
With the passage of healthcare reform it is natural for communities to wonder what will happen to the free dental clinics, the mobile dental clinics and to the camps that are regularly offered. In truth, we will not witness the disappearance of these all important services, and communities can rest assured in knowing the free dental services will continue to be supplied.
Even with the healthcare reform in place, free dental clinics like the one’s mentioned above will continue to be necessary. The healthcare reform bill will be making gradual changes to the ways that Americans receive dental care and in the interim, free dental clinics will continue to supply the needed restorative dental care that patients require.
Dental schools and colleges will continue to offer free dental care so that students of the dentistry
profession can continue to get hands on experience in the field of dentistry. Meanwhile, dental camps will continue to outreach to members of the community to promote an awareness and understanding about good oral hygiene practices.