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The United Way of South Central Illinois is organizing a volunteer clinic from June 15-19 in Mount Vernon to patients who do not have dental insurance or coverage through Medicaid.
"It's really a worthwhile project," said Dr Allen D Fry to the Mount Vernon Register, "These people are very appreciative. They've kind of fallen through the cracks and need assistance. Fortunately, we have enough dentists that feel the same."
Fry will be joined by 10 other local dentists and staff, offering free teeth extraction and fillings.
Potential patients must qualify for the services by undergoing medical screening and filling out a financial application.
The Illinois state legislature is currently considering a bill to fund dental clinics in areas that are underserved and lacking in access to dental care with the money generated from a 5 percent statewide soft drink sales tax.
The dilemma facing Illinois is not unique. California has recently proposed cutting all state-supported dental insurance for adults in a budget-cutting measure, while Louisiana is debating whether or not to allow mobile clinics to administer to schools in underserved areas.
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