“I haven’t smiled in 12 years.” Can you imagine that?
There is power in a smile. A smile can convey optimism and happiness, among other things. When you are embarrassed of your smile, or your teeth and gums hurt all the time, it changes your whole demeanor, and can greatly impact your health. The condition of your mouth affects more than your teeth and gums. It can also influence other systems in your body, as well as work and school performance, social interactions, and self-esteem.
For most lower income folks in Lincoln, going to the dentist is more than they can afford. Even on Medicaid, the annual benefit for adults in Nebraska is only $750, which is not enough to cover procedures beyond the basics. Also, very few dentists in Nebraska are accepting Medicaid patients. So what are their options?
People often resort to hospital emergency rooms as a last-resort treatment option to alleviate dental pain. Most ER dental patients don’t receive corrective treatment, only medications for the symptoms and they often return. These visits cost the state millions of extra dollars each year.
WE HAVE A SOLUTION:
Did you know that we operate a free dental clinic? There is never a charge for any of the services we provide. Our amazing volunteer dentists, oral surgeon and dental assistants see an average of over 100 patients a month. In addition to fillings and extractions, they also do restorations and dentures, with unbelievable results.
The woman who hadn’t smiled in 12 years found our dental clinic. She couldn’t find a dentist who would take Medicare, and couldn’t afford the care she needed. Our volunteer providers treated her for free – extractions, fillings and restorations, and partial dentures. I wish you could have seen her big smile then!
CAN YOU HELP?
We see folks like her every single week. And we need your help to continue providing these important services to people in need. Would you consider a financial gift to help Lincoln’s most vulnerable population? Thanks so much for any support you can give. Just know you are making a real difference in the lives of others!
Poor oral health can be linked to to:
- heart disease
- premature birth/low birth weight
- oral cancer
Populations least likely to receive adequate dental services (according to the CDC):
- those with low incomes
- the homeless
- immigrants & refugees
70% of Americans say a smile can make or break a first impression
2,500+: patients seen for free at our clinic last year (dental, chiropractic, podiatric & mental health)
$0: what we charge to our patients
VOLUNTEERS: We need pre-dental and dental students to volunteer as dental assistants. Contact Patrick at PHupp@pcmlincoln.org. or 402-817-0980.
For any other volunteer oportunities, contact Beneen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-475-1303 ext. 114