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Community health clinics link underserved with dental care
Updated: 2/2/2011 6:59:50 PM

Community health clinics serve individuals in need of dental care. The American Dental Association (ADA) emphasizes the need for families to schedule regular dentist visits once or twice a year to maintain good oral health through cleanings, disease diagnosis, and professional treatment plans.

However, dental checkups are not always a tenable option for some uninsured and needy families. The ADA notes that because many dentists do not accept state-sponsored insurance, low-income individuals are often left without professional help for their oral health care needs.

A number of organizations and non-profit dental clinics across the country work to connect these individuals with dental hygienists and affordable dental care. For example, once a year, Tom's of Maine runs the Dental Health for All program, which awards funds to community-based oral health clinics that show excellence in service.

This year, individuals will vote online on which five mobile dental clinics under the Goodness to Go initiative will divide $100,000 between them. These dental centers will bring oral health services directly to the neighborhoods of the underserved.

Susan Dewhirst, a manager at Tom's of Maine, noted that the vote is important because "the public has a keen insight into where dental services are needed within their neighborhoods."  

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