It look's like you don't have Adobe Flash Player installed. Get it now.
Imagine having a tooth that has a deep cavity, which makes hard to eat, think or even make it through the day, and you don’t have insurance or enough money to pay for a costly dental visit. Jordan Valley Community Health Center screened 115 people and gave out vouchers, so that some individuals in that situation could receive free dental care Wednesday. KSMU’s Kristian Kriner reports.
With “The Price is Right” playing on the TV in the lobby of the health center, many patients sat with a toothache waiting for their names to be called, so they could be pain-free.
Sitting in the middle of the lobby was Pat Chancellor.
She says she has several teeth that are breaking off and she’s been enduring the pain for about two years.
Chancellor says she is on disability and hasn’t had enough money to pay for dental care.
She says she heard that Jordan Valley Community Health Center had cheap dental care, so she decided to give them a call and they told her she could come by two days later.
“If you can come in here by four o’clock today, we’ll get you in Wednesday and it won’t cost you anything and I cried. I think it’s great that they can help people that don’t have the means to do it themselves,” Chancellor said.
Chancellor says after she scheduled her appointment, she kept thinking how she’s not going to be in pain anymore.
“It’s a Godsend. It really is, because I’ve got so much pain back here. And I’ve got another tooth that’s really broken down to the gums and they’re going to try and fix it too,” Chancellor said.
Tim Shryack, director of operations at the health center, says people like Chancellor are the reason Jordan Valley does these free clinics.
He says this is the third time the health center has handed out vouchers for free dental care.
Shryack says it’s hard to concentrate at work or go look for a job if you have a toothache, so the clinic wants to help those people get out of pain.
“We know that there are a lot of dental needs in the community and it’s generally not free, because it costs to provide dental care. So, we feel like it is a way to contribute back to the community and to identify those folk that fall through the cracks and if we can help them get out of pain, they can get back to their jobs or if they’re looking for a job and just get back to their regular day,” Shryack said.
He says Jordan Valley Community Health Center will have another dental screening for free vouchers December 4th, starting at 8:30 am at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds.
Shryack says anyone who needs free dental care should come by at that time for a screening.
For KSMU News, I’m Kristian Kriner.