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Kids with cavities lack access to dental care
Updated: 12/17/2009 6:59:09 PM

Kids with cavities lack access to dental care At times, painful dental health issues can become urgent, especially for those who can't afford dental insurance and lack access to a trained healthcare professional. A temporary solution for some, free dental clinics, like Madre Angela in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, service community members in times of need.

The Madre Angela Dental Clinic has been operating for 10 years, providing dental care to the poor and uninsured with who complain of pain, swelling, infections and abscesses, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

To date, volunteers estimate that they have served more than 4,500 patients through the Chavez Drive health center and traveling programs that provide fluoride treatments and screenings to children at schools.

About 60 percent of the children screened have cavities but do not have access to dental care in their underserved communities, say the clinic's officers.

According to Donald Novakovic, who has worked at the clinic part-time for a decade, "Teeth are an integral part of a person's ability to maintain good health."

He added, "If you can't eat because of pain and have physical and mental anguish, you can't fulfill your daily responsibilities, like working or taking care of your family."

Though free clinics allow uninsured citizens to consult with a trained dental expert, many do not provide avenues for follow-up care.

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