Archive for Monday, September 16, 2013

Douglas County Dental Clinic’s Free Dental Day set to be the biggest yet

September 16, 2013


The Douglas County Dental Clinic will hold its sixth annual Free Dental Day on Friday, and organizers say it will be the biggest one ever.

The county dental clinic’s new office at 2210 Yale Rd. will enable more dentists to participate this year. Fifteen dentists and an oral surgeon will offer their services at no cost to patients who cannot afford to pay.

Clinic Executive Director Julie Branstrom said organizers hope to provide free services to about 100 people this year.

“We wish we could have Free Dental Day more than once a year, but it is too big of an undertaking,” Branstrom said. “So it feels better if we can help more people on that one day.”

Screening will begin at 6:30 a.m. and will continue until 4 p.m. Branstrom expects patients to line up as early as Thursday night to receive the free dental services.

“The need for dental care is huge,” Branstrom said. “The are about 20,000 uninsured people in Douglas County, and even more without dental insurance.”

While Medicaid covers dental care for children, Free Dental Day is the only way for many low-income adults to get dental care.

Dr. Nealy Newkirk has participated in Free Dental Day for three years and said she enjoys donating her services because it is her way of contributing to Douglas County.

“When you have a skill you can share, you’re kind of obligated to do that,” Newkirk said. “When you’re a part of a community, it is your duty to give back.”

Other dentists offering their services include: Dr. Matthew Krische, Dr. Keith Van Horn, Dr. Ryan Brittingham, Dr. Richard Valbuena, Dr. John Hay, Dr. Marvin Heinbach, Dr. Galen Van Blaricum, Dr. Ed Manda, Dr. Cheryl Biesterfeld, Dr. Kelly Farmer, Dr. Saher Ahmed, Dr. Jerell Wilson, Dr. Allyson Dodds and oral surgeon Dr. Philip Gaus.


Alceste 4 years, 3 months ago

This project is a joke. For starters, try to find a single dentist in private practice who accepts to Medicaid.....the program filled to the brim with impoverished children (What was their crime? They were born and they were born into poverty....nothing more and nothing less....) which pays for dental benefits for children provided a dentist will take it. There isn't one in Douglas County.

Dentistry is supposed to be about the practice of saving teeth. These warehouse butcher clinics don't save teeth....they pull them when a root canal would save the tooth. The "free service" don't do root canal.

People lining up in the dead of night for a medical service because they've not the money to pay for same is a miserable process to watch and a comment on just how low we, as a society, have fallen.

Big deal if the dentists and hygienists give a free day. How about opening up their practices so that 10% (for starters) of the practice is for the indigent and if nothing else, for children.

Go on....list the dentists in Douglas county (in private practice) (and for that matter the entire state) who accept Medicaid. Let's see how long the list is......errr.....maybe it'd be better to ask how short is the list?.... "In Kansas, children 18 and under are eligible for dental coverage under Medicaid. However, only 350 of the state's 1,425 dentists treated at least one Medicaid patient last year, according to the KDA."

Also, a solution to this problem is, again, held hostage by dentists' themselves and their KDA in that they oppose the specially trained dental hygienists concept of the Registered Dental Practitioner

Concluding.....NEVER go to a dentist to get a root canal....ONLY go to the specialist....the endodontist....if you want to save your tooth....; dentists will tell you they can do it just as well as the endodontist......they're fibbing.....which seems par for the course for this group of money grubbers.

Let's see the pictures of the formed line for the tooth pulling/destruction butchery fixin' on taking place......Jesus wept.

cowboy 4 years, 3 months ago

I agree Alceste ! Consolidate all these non profits and provide free community care. It could be done easily if all the little fiefdoms were combined . There is no excuse.

Dan Edwards 4 years, 3 months ago

I suppose you'd prefer that they stop doing these then? I think a few hundred of your fellow county residents would disagree vehemently.

Ever hear the saying "throwing the baby out with the bathwater?" That's what you're advocating. Just because the situation isn't ideal doesn't mean you misplace your ire against the few folks trying to make it better. What the hell have you done for this community lately (other than whine on internet forums)? Next time, maybe lead off with that if you want to elicit anything other than eye-rolling.

Joe Berns 4 years, 3 months ago

Why do only the poor get to benefit from this free service? Why should I have to pay my deductible for dental work if I can get it done for free and only have to stand outside the building and play on my ipad while waiting for the service?

I can then use the money I've saved to go get a nice ribeye and a half pound of king crab legs and feast!

Alceste 4 years, 3 months ago

bookemdano opines but fails to address the reality that dental services in Douglas County (and Kansas) are, essentially, non-existent for impoverished children and that these once a year "feel good" endeavors pull the proverbial wool over the eyes of those who prefer to remain ignorant.

Ask one of those who is about to their tooth pulled if they'd prefer to have it preserved and saved with a root canal and see what kind of answer you'll get. Be sure to inform them "Well, since you're broke, we're going to remove your tooth that could be made "ok" if but you had a little bit of money to pay one of these people....."

Dentistry is about saving isn't about pulling them. The one day the dentists who participate in this event take off from work is certainly more than the vast majority who prefer to remain in their office or driving about town in their Lexus, but it's insufficient. Why the greed as demonstrated by refusing to take Medicaid.

bookemdano: produce a list of names of dental providers in Douglas county who will see children "insured" by Medicaid.

Patricia Thieme 4 years, 2 months ago

There are dentist in this town that take medical cards. My children have one and go to the dentist every six months and I have one that even goes to the orthodontist? And as for this clinic I think that it is a wonderful thing because without it some of us would never be able to get any dental work done. And as for them only wanting to pull them out, I beg for them to take them all out and they wouldn't they told me that my teeth are in to good of shape to all be removed. They instead wanted to fill them all. So maybe you should research just a little more before you start throwing "facts" around.

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