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Free dental care clinic faces adversity, critics
Updated: 12/16/2009 6:59:12 PM

Some question the use of dental clinics A nonprofit organization looking to hold a free clinic for people who can't afford medical, eye and dental care in private treatment centers are finding that they themselves may not be about to afford to hold the event.

Remote Area Medical (RAM), which has launched more than 500 clinics worldwide since 1985, proposed to hold a three-day event in late January for the residents of Washington, DC.

However, the Washington Convention and Sports Authority, which operates the large District armory proposed for the event, estimates that the rental cost for the clinic would run RAM at least $77,000, the Washington Post reports.

In addition, the DC Department of Health has scrutinized the practical function of the event, specifically pointing out that the clinic does not offer any avenues for follow-up dental care.

"What people need is comprehensive care," Vincent Keane, CEO of the nonprofit organization Unity Health Care, told the news source. "I think the worst think you can do to a patient is diagnose his problem and then not be able to treat it over the long haul."

According to the American Dental Association, optimal dental care involves regular visits to a licensed dentist.

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