“The mouth is the gateway to the physique,” mentioned Dr. Youseph Kassar, program director at Monongalia County Well being Division (MCHD) Dentistry. “Loads of instances folks neglect it – if one thing doesn’t damage them, they don’t come see me, so issues can step by step worsen and worse with out you realizing till it’s fairly dangerous.”
In accordance with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC), greater than 1 in 4 (26%) adults in the US have untreated tooth decay and practically half of all adults ages 30 or older present indicators of gum illness.
On Wednesday, MCHD Dentistry supplied free dental providers for uninsured adults throughout its annual Wholesome Smiles Day occasion held annually the day earlier than Thanksgiving.
Kassar mentioned the Wholesome Smiles Day occasion is supposed “to open up an avenue for sufferers that don’t have insurance coverage or who don’t take into consideration getting their tooth taken care of due to the dearth of insurance coverage. We form of present them the significance of it and hopefully they sustain with it, not simply yearly on at the present time, however commonly as nicely.”
Wholesome Smiles Day offers related care to uninsured adults that the annual and nationwide Give Children a Smile! does for kids with out dental insurance coverage in February. This yr a Free Dental Day for Veterans was held Nov. 10 at MCHD Dentistry.
“It’s a day for adults that should not have dental insurance coverage to get free dental care,” Kassar mentioned. “We attempt to do a cleansing for everybody, an examination if wanted and X-rays, and if there’s time and so they want a filling or two, we are able to do this.”
MCHD Dentistry created Wholesome Smiles Day in 2019, and, despite the COVID pandemic, noticed 24 sufferers in 2020, 30 in 2021 and 26 in 2022, in accordance with a latest press launch. This yr, 32 folks scheduled appointments.
“A few years in the past, we had been uncertain if the brand new Medicaid profit for grownup sufferers would imply fewer sufferers profiting from Wholesome Smiles Day, however that was not the case,” Kassar mentioned. “I suppose it exhibits there’s nonetheless a necessity for sufferers who’re being left behind.”
Native resident Wamie Miller was one of many individuals who took benefit of the Wholesome Smiles Day occasion.
“I’ve been coming for years,” Miller mentioned. “I don’t have insurance coverage, so it helps.”
Leaving her appointment she mentioned, “I beloved it. It’s fantastic. They’re actually good.”
MCHD Dentistry is a full-fledged dental observe that strives to supply sufferers one of the best worth for his or her cash, Kassar defined.
“We attempt to work with any affected person that comes within the door, and we settle for virtually each dental insurance coverage, and we’ve a sliding scale charge for sufferers that don’t have insurance coverage,” he mentioned. “We’re as conservative as we will be with dentistry, whereas additionally doing what must be carried out.”
In accordance with the press launch, MCHD Dentistry is the one full-service dental observe positioned inside a West Virginia well being division. It lately acquired two $50,000 grants that helped construct two new, state-of-the-art operatories that opened this summer season and supply extra room for sufferers to be seen.
Kassar mentioned prevention is essential in relation to dental well being, which is why dentists at all times suggest common cleanings and exams to allow them to catch issues earlier than any issues trigger bigger well being considerations.
Data from MCHD mentioned the CDC signifies adults who’ve a low revenue, have lower than a highschool training and are people who smoke are two instances extra prone to have untreated cavities than comparability teams. If left untreated, cavities and gum illness result in tooth loss, which might have an effect on high quality of life, together with vitamin.
Gum illness additionally will increase the chance of getting bacterial an infection within the bloodstream, which might injury coronary heart valves. The American Coronary heart Affiliation notes that analysis has proven a connection between coronary heart illness and periodontal illness, the signs of which embrace gum an infection, gum irritation and tooth injury.
MCHD Dentistry presents a full vary of dental providers: cleanings, exams, oral well being training, oral most cancers screenings, digital X-rays, dental sealants, mouth guards, easy extractions, root canals, bridges, same-day crowns, implants, dentures and partials, customized bleaching trays, beauty bonding, porcelain veneers and Invisalign tooth straightening.
For up-to-date data on well being and wellness in Monongalia County, take a look at monchd.org and comply with the well being division on Fb and Twitter @WVMCHD and on Instagram at #wvmchd.