Dental Treatment Opportunites For Low Income Family Members | Uber Articles
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Dental Treatment Opportunites For Low Income Family Members

By Isabella Phillips

Smiling broadly, the long haired young woman sat by herself inside the small waiting room of the dental clinic. On the only dental chair of the clinic sat a middle aged woman who was currently having her teeth checked by the dentist. Dental care was a financial impossibility for her had it not been for the clinic’s low cost services.

The dental clinic, operating for 43 years, is the project of a private non profit organization. A health clinic that provided health care for pregnant women and babies was operated by the clinic in the organization’s building for several years. Children can enjoy dental care at the clinic. Through private donations, the operation of the clinic funded, most especially through the foundation that one woman left us in her will. Reexamining the services we offered when the foundation ran out a year ago made us realize that much of what we provided were already being duplicated by other agencies. Since the services were not receiving any funding anymore, the clinic closed.

They did research on what kind of medical needs were not being met for low income persons, and they found that dentistry was not provided and decided their best economical bet was to rent out the main building and remodel the garage. The organization raised about $10,000 in donations to convert the former garage into a small dental office. The equipment for the office was already available since they had been donated earlier by dentists for the previous dental clinic.

An interview is done to see if prospective patients are eligible for low cost care. The clinic avoids competing with other dentists, and will reject those who can afford private dental care. The clinic uses a sliding scale to determine who is eligible for the clinic’s services, and how much to charge them. The number of people in a person’s family as well as his income is the basis of the fee scale.

The clinic’s dental services would not be given to a family consisting of four members making a monthly income of $1,000 or more. For that same family to receive $8 dental examination for its members, their monthly income should be from $800 to $1,000. For $5, a family that makes less than $800 a month can avail of dental examination. An average of $15 to $20 is spent by people who go to private Santa Fe dentists for examinations.

Patients may be in their 40′s or 50′s, and they show signs of not having had any dental care. Many of the clinic’s patients are children. Sometime in early winter, clinic dentists made treatment available for kids who qualified for federally funded county special programs. One program accommodated most if not all of the clinic fees.

In a week, around 20 patients are scheduled, but the dentists can handle many more. When too many patients failed to meet their dentists at the scheduled time, the secretary changed the system of making appointments so that the days were known by the patients but not the specific times. Patients are seen by the dentists on a first come, first served basis on the particular day of their appointment. We often teach those who come in how to take care of their teeth. Toothbrushes and dental floss are provided for patients who don’t use either of the two. On the next appointment, they usually have stronger and brighter teeth.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Phillips, Isabella "Dental Treatment Opportunites For Low Income Family Members." Dental Treatment Opportunites For Low Income Family Members. 22 Aug. 2010. 8 Jun 2017 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Phillips, I (2010, August 22). Dental Treatment Opportunites For Low Income Family Members. Retrieved June 8, 2017, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Phillips, Isabella "Dental Treatment Opportunites For Low Income Family Members"

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