Archive for Thursday, September 18, 2008

Free dental care for the uninsured to be provided at county clinic

September 18, 2008, 11:55 a.m. Updated September 18, 2008, 2:34 p.m.


Eight dentists, a team of hygienists and a lineup of support staffers are gearing up to provide free dental care for uninsured patients today at the Douglas County Dental Clinic, 316 Maine.

The professionals are volunteering their time, expertise and supplies to help up to 60 people during the first-come, first-served event.

Screenings will start at 7 a.m., and the clinic will run through 4 p.m., said Nikki King, executive director of Health Care Access, which is co-sponsoring the event. The clinic normally is open only until noon Fridays.

"This is huge," said King, whose own clinic will be closed for the day. "We're expecting hundreds of people to line up and be one of the first 60 people seen. At our clinic alone, where we see about 2,000 people a year, the majority need dental care and they can't afford it."

The dental clinic's two staff dentists - Cheryl Biesterfeld and Kelly Farmer - will be joined by six others serving as volunteers: Galen Van Blaricum, John Hay and Ed Manda, who are former board members for Health Care Access; and Chris Leiszler, Bryce McCreary and Les Miller.


Raymond Munoz 9 years, 8 months ago

Once again, let me clear up some bad information posted here...Cleanings are not $200. Adult cleanings range in price from $40-$60. Scaling and root planing, on the other hand, might be $200 for all 4 quadrants of the mouth. This procedure would cost at least $400 in private practice for someone without dental insurance.As for Buggie's post...No-shows are a BIG problem for nonprofit clinics such as ours that serve the low-income population. The national average is something like 33% no-shows which would kill a clinic like ours. We are lucky enough to be able to maintain a 15-20% no-show rate and our no-show policy is pretty generous when compared to other practices that will dismiss a patient after 1 or 2 missed appointments. Here at the clinic you get 3 missed appointments in a year before you are dismissed for 6 months. If everybody no-showed for their appointments, the clinic could not keep its doors open for long!Your post about having to get an exam and x-rays before a cleaning is partially correct, however this SHOULD be standard policy in just about any dental practice if they are following ADA guidelines. The reason we don't do exams, x-rays, and cleanings at the same appointment time is because MANY of our patients need a debridement or scaling and root planing vs. a regular cleaning and the exam and x-rays are used to diagnose the type of cleaning appointment you'll need. I should also note that you do not have to fix whatever problems we diagnose before getting a cleaning unless the dentist insists that is the best course of treatment. We normally recommend a cleaning before any restorative work is done so that the teeth will be nice and clean for the work to be done.As for our sliding scale being terrible. Well, that's all just a matter of opinion. Many people praise us for offering prices that are 25-50% cheaper than private practice, while others have a difficult time affording that. Fact of the matter is, we barely break even with the prices we offer, and if we offered services at an even more reduced rate, we'd be out of business rather quickly. Anyways... our free dental day is in full swing now so I've got to go!

Raymond Munoz 9 years, 8 months ago

ignorant...And that's exactly what you are in this case...Let me explain a thing or two about the free dental day we're having here at the Douglas County Dental clinic.We are doing this as a service to low-income, uninsured, Douglas County residents. While we at the clinic already provide services on a sliding scale fee, we've found that there are still residents that cannot afford dental services even with our drastically reduced fees. This day is primarily to serve those that are having pain due to oral health issues and cannot afford a dentist, even at a reduced cost.There is no "glorified scam" going on here at all. I've seen this process grow from a "what if we did this?" idea, to the actual event happening tomorrow, and seen nothing but great things from our own dentists here at the clinic, the private practice dentists that are volunteering their time for the event, and everybody else involved.There is no hidden agenda here, but an actual concern for those that have not been able to receive dental care due to lack of income, insurance, or whatever other barrier is preventing their access to care. Trust me, if this were just a ploy to get "the rest into their offices later for money..." we would be helping a totally different demographic than those with NO MONEY.Questions about the event? I don't hide behind the face of anonymity... Call me at the Douglas County Dental Clinic (785) 312-7770.

Raymond Munoz 9 years, 8 months ago

"IMHO the Douglas County Dental Clinic has no equal."Thank you for the kind words Windlass!

ginsanrdh 9 years, 8 months ago

I might just add that "ignorant" more than welcome to get up at an extremely early hour and get the first place in line!!And sour grapes about the XBox... but I kind of understand. You can only do so much for people, but at least SOMETHING is being done at all!! And hey, go to college, get a dental degree and join us to serve others!! : )

Buggie7 9 years, 8 months ago

Im sure that no shows are a big problem. The problem is is that your records are inaccurate in keeping track of them and your employees (not the dentists) are rude and no matter what the sliding scale is no one should be treated like trash when they go in there. The dentist (at the time Dr. Budig was great, however, Your staff is terribly rude and in accurate. They didnt even have the correct info in his file. She kept telling us that he was in there to get cavities before and he wasnt. He got 3 teeth pulled. She read his personal information so she had the correct file. This was also a no no cause HIPPA prohibits you from reading that info to someone if you do not know that is for a fact the same person. She should have had him giver her all of his info and then she can confirm whether its the correct file or not. Train your people. Get people in there that have experience and some type of understanding on what it is like not to have insurance. They need not be so rude.You can go to the dental school in KC or several dentists in the area that will let you make payments.

May Soo 9 years, 8 months ago

We are doing this as a service to low-income, uninsured, Douglas County residents. While we at the clinic already provide services on a sliding scale fee, we've found that there are still residents that cannot afford dental services even with our drastically reduced fees.------------------No kidding, I certainly can't afford $200 for a teeth cleaning the clinic charges.

Dan Edwards 9 years, 8 months ago

Kudos to the DCDC for doing this for the community. As others have already said, try to ignore the trolls who evidently have nothing better to do than sit on their lazy butts criticizing the good works of others... I think they make themselves feel better that way, but it only draws attention to the fact that they themselves are doing nothing.As for why the number of people able to be served was disclosed--I think that was in fact a very responsible thing to do. There is no way the clinic has the resources to see everyone with a dental problem. Telling people the facts in advance means there will be no surprises when people who show up at 3pm have to be turned away. If you have an urgent dental need, then make arrangements to show up early. If I were in that situation, I would greatly appreciate knowing the limitation ahead of time so I could take the steps necessary to make sure I was seen.If you think the clinic should give unlimited free care, then maybe you ought to whip out your wallet to help pay for it. To otherwise look a gift horse in the mouth only makes you look foolish.

Julie Branström 9 years, 8 months ago

Wow. I'm really sad that someone would think that this event is anything remotely related to any kind of ploy by local dentists to get the people who show up for free services into their offices. This is about helping the underserved in our community. Obviously the person who made that comment knows nothing about this event. First come first served means the first 60 people in line will receive services.

geniusmannumber1 9 years, 8 months ago

I was terrified when I saw this come up on most commented on. I was afraid to look at the comments for fear my faith in humanity would be shaken. Then I saw the first comment, and all my fears were confirmed.Then I realized it was just the troll-of-the-week, who doesn't count as a person, and felt better.

Raymond Munoz 9 years, 8 months ago

Pogo...Wow, I can't believe your statement. Unbelievable to the point that I would actually label it as libel. Pulling teeth, unless absolutely necessary, is something we frown upon here at the Douglas County Dental Clinic. We strive to provide restorative care when at all possible. We ABSOLUTELY do fillings, root canals, and crowns amongst a variety of other things.

Buggie7 9 years, 8 months ago

I agree with the middle child. I also want to add that before you can get the cleaning you have to pay to get a exam and if they find something pay to get it fixed before they will even do the cleaning. I know someone in my family that has used this clinic and he will not go back. They tried to chastise him in a very rude manner when he made an appointment and they told him to make sure that he kept it this time because he didnt show up to the last one when he had only been there once before and did show up and had 2 cavities filled by Dr. Budig when he was there a few years ago. He told them that the were mistaken and they got even more rude and said "Well do you want the appointment or not? We have other people who are waiting that actually decide to show up for their appointments"This was totally uncalled for and they told him if he missed an appointment again then he would not be allowed to come back.He told him no he would go elsewhere in KC. I know because I went with him and heard the whole thing. He was hurting so we just went in to see if they had cancellations and if they did I would be there to drive him home in case he was in too much pain to do so afterward. I dont care if you are providing on a sliding scale (Which theirs is terrible) or free. NO one deserves to be talked to in that manner!!!! I went with him the first time and Dr Budig was great and funny because he was wearing his KU slippers to cheer on the team. For the poster that didnt know other dentists that serve there, we saw both Dr. Kincaids there that day.

Raymond Munoz 9 years, 8 months ago

And just how long ago was this? If it was Dr. Budig that saw you, then this was at least 4 years ago. Our staff has changed quite a bit since then and I personally guarantee that we follow HIPAA rules, have VERY accurate records, and we are as polite as possible. And BTW, the free day is going great! We've had 20 patients come through the doors so far and things are going much smoother than we anticipated. This is an exciting event and I hope that people appreciate the services these dentists, hygienists, assistants, and other staff are providing!

Alia Ahmed 9 years, 8 months ago

I don't know any of the dentists who donate their time to this worthy cause except for Ed Manda. Dr. Manda has been the dentist for my family for about 22 years. His kindness and charity extends much further than the time he has donated to the free dental clinic. He is a successful dentist with a very loyal following of patients, he certainly doesn't need to "scam" the patients in the health clinic to get them in his office. Congratulations to all the people in the community that have been instrumental in bringing this about. It truly is something our community can smile about.

May Soo 9 years, 8 months ago

Raymond MunozRaymond Munoz (Raymond Munoz) says:Once again, let me clear up some bad information posted here:Cleanings are not $200. Adult cleanings range in price from $40-$60. Scaling and root planing, on the other hand, might be $200 for all 4 quadrants of the mouth. This procedure would cost at least $400 in private practice for someone without dental insurance.------------------------Mr.Runoz,I was at the clinic 2 weeks ago, I made the appointment for cleaning but was told I have to have an exam and x-ray first, which I did. the x-ray and exam didn't cause me too much as I am on a fixed income. They then told me that the cleaning will cost $100/side, so for a total of $200 for a whole mouth. It was too expense for me so I told them I can't afford it. The dentist told me to go to JCCC dental clinic instead when I can get it done for under $30 and gave me contact information for them. I was told it was $60 for a teeth cleaning when I made the appointment, if I have known it was $200, I will not make the appointment in the first place.I just hope I was being informed that the price is subject to change on the day of my appointment.

Buggie7 9 years, 8 months ago

I agree with Pogo. The person that I took in was told that they had to have their teeth pulled hence the statement made that he had 3 teeth pulled made earlier. They wanted to pull more and we decided to take him to Dr Kincaid who would put crowns on them and said they had no business being pulled. I know Dr Budig very well outside the clinic and since he is no longer in this state you are right it has been about 4 yrs. However when we went in for another appt as stated that was sooner and no you do not go by HIPPA and yes you are rude. Its a assembly line for pulling teeth in there. I will not reccommend it to anyone again people, if you can get there KC has great dental school and there are dentists out there that will accept small monthly payments here in Lawrence. The only thing about this clinic that I do respect is the fact they do not hand out prescriptions to low income people for narcotics. Even though needed in some cases I understand why it is not done.

Raymond Munoz 9 years, 8 months ago

Pogo...We are not doing crowns today because the time needed for crowns would prohibit us from serving the greatest number of people. However, we have done some fillings and root canals already this morning. Last post of the day because we're really busy!

Raymond Munoz 9 years, 8 months ago

Pogo...Those numbers are from KMOM (Kansas Mission of Mercy) and they do not in any way reflect what we're doing here today. I can tell you that so far we've done only 9 extractions and 35 fillings. So, as you can see, restorative work is definitely beating out oral surgery at our free event today. Please keep in mind that the extractions performed were only done as a last-case resort because the teeth were not savable.

Boston_Corbett 9 years, 8 months ago

So Pogo doesn't support a "free clinic day." Big whoop. What has POGO done today other than type critical remarks and demand answers to his questions, to support Lawrence's needy?I thought so.That is what is shameful here.

opnwyder 9 years, 8 months ago

There are many cases when saving a tooth is no longer a possibility due to advanced disease. Extraction becomes the only way to resolve pain and infection. Extracting infected, severely decayed teeth that are no longer fixable is a fabulous service to provide and should not be denigrated. The number of extractions vs. fillings does not signify anything other than the extent of destruction of those particular teeth. Someone who requires an extraction is very lucky to have it done for free!

sally87 9 years, 8 months ago

To "the middle child"Your price changed because you needed to have a perio-scaling and root cleaning. This is a much more in-depth proceedure and costs more to be preformed. There is no way that the office staff would have been able to know that you would need this specialized service before the dentist took x-rays and evaluated your oral health. Raymond did state that it would be 200 for a full mouth of perio. I'm sorry if you weren't aware of the policy but there is a page that the patients sign declaring that prices are subject to change.To "Pogo" I have personally witnessed our dentists tell (many) people that they will not pull a tooth if it is saveable. Our two dentists are wonderfully kind, understanding, morally sound, and extremely knowledgable. They do all that they can for our patients and always have the patients well-being in mind. I commend them for all that they do.

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