As part of our commitment to giving back to our communities, Dental Depot is proud to participate in Dentistry from the Heart, an annual day of giving. The event aimed at giving not just free dental work to those in need, but hope as well.
This year we set up shop in Oklahoma City and Tulsa to make sure patients in both of our major metro areas had a chance to be served. Adults 18 and older were welcomed into our offices on Sunday, October 14th by dozens of our volunteers. Patients were able to choose from either a teeth cleaning, a filling or an extraction, giving them a chance at important treatment that they might not otherwise have resources for.
We were so glad to see our patients brave the cold, rainy weather for this service. In all, we were able to provide patients with more than $30,000 of free dental care while still treating them with the compassion and quality care they deserve.
The Reality of Accessible Dental Care
More than half of Americans will not visit a dentist this year. For many, there are barriers to their care that include everything from financial burdens to geographic location, to health literacy and difference in language.
With 50% of Americans over the age of 30 suffering from gum disease in one form or another, it’s important to make dental care accessible. Left untreated, problems in the mouth can affect the rest of the body and your overall health.
The American Student Dental Association recommends a population to dentist ratio of 5,000:1. As of Dec. 31, 2017, there were 5,886 Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA). According to this study, it would take an additional 10,802 practitioners to meet every HPSA community’s needs. This shortage affects almost 30 million Americans.
What Resources are Available to You
If you weren’t able to attend this year’s DFTH event, or if you are in need of dental care throughout the year but have limited resources, there are other options available for obtaining no-cost care.
Coming this February is Oklahoma Mission of Mercy, a two-day free dental clinic that will be held in the Oklahoma Expo Hall at the State Fair Park. For more information on Mission of Mercy, visit them online, here.
Need work done now? Delta Dental of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Dental Association have put together a state-wide resource guide on both low- and no-cost clinics and providers. Access it here.