Free Dental Clinic See Fewer Patients, Benefit More from Medicaid Expansion | New
ENID, Oklahoma. – A less hectic second round of the new community clinic offering free dental care saw nearly half of people take advantage of medical services on Friday.
Sixty-five patients, young and old, were seen and treated at Great Plains Family Dentistry, compared to 133 patients who attended the first free clinic held in May.
People sat outside in folded chairs, waiting for their number to be called, while local health organizations held a health resource fair in the parking lot outside the dentist‘s office at 4125 W. Garriott, until the end of the clinic at 2 p.m.
Dr Sydney Rogers and eight other dentists were on hand to perform dental extractions for adults and cleanings and sealants for children, no insurance required. Four dental hygienists and students from the Technological Center of Autry and the Enid region were also present to assist the doctors in the procedures.
âWe thought there was still a need for this type of care,â Rogers said.
Seven local dentists attended the clinic this year, Rogers said, compared to three from Enid who came in May.
âI think this shows that the dental community is ready to come together for a community event,â she said.
Rogers said she and other organizers hope to host the clinic again around the same time next year, ideally to compensate for a clinic called the Oklahoma Mission of Mercy that is held every February in Oklahoma City.
Dental practice manager Amber Beguin said it is still a busy day to give back to the community.
âSo being able to do that warms my heart,â she said. necessary.”
Rogers said she was not aware of any patients returning on Friday for follow-ups after the first clinic, but Beguin said the children were given follow-up plans for any possible treatment or insurance coverage.
Representatives from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority were also on hand Friday to enroll further in the Medicaid insurance program, which was recently extended to adults earlier this summer.
Great Salt Plains Family Dentistry is one of two dental offices in Enid’s area that see patients covered by the SoonerCare program, and Beguin said several patients were signed up after their appointment on Friday to be seen later. .
Jim Allen had brought a John Grisham book to read while he waited for an appointment, having been brought to the clinic when it opened at 8 a.m. with a dozen other men from Catalyst Behavioral Services, the clinic. drug addiction treatment and men’s health in Enid.
Allen, a California native who returned to Oklahoma a year ago, said he hoped to have all of his chipped upper teeth pulled out before they became infected so he could eventually get dentures.
But once he sat in the reclining chair of Dr Daniel Taw, a dentist in the Yukon, Allen learned that because he had already signed up for SoonerCare a few days ago, he would not have need to be extracted and then wait for dentures. .
The recent expansion of Oklahoma state’s Medicaid program now covers immediate dentures, Beguin and Dr Taw told him.
Patients should ideally get prostheses as soon as possible so that they better adapt to a less deteriorated bone structure, Beguin said.
âAs much as I want to help you today, it’s a much better way to get treated and get the care you need,â Taw said.
Because Allen said he was in no immediate pain, Beguin set him up instead on Monday afternoon to clean his bottom teeth, extract any chipped top teeth, and immediately fit him for. a partial or complete prosthesis for the same day.
âIt’s just a better way of doing things,â Allen agreed. “So Monday I’ll be back.”
Allen then took his book and a bag of Cheetos he could still eat from the parking lot, where he waited for his fellow Catalyst residents to finish their appointments.
âI’m sixty-three, you know, I’ve known people who were 45 and had to have their teeth replaced, so it’s okay. I had no complaints, “he said standing outside, before laughing,” And I’m doing it here in Enid, Oklahoma. “