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Free Dental Clinic Draws Massive Crowds in New Haven

Free Dental Clinic Draws Massive Crowds in New Haven

Shoshanna Longman was one of the first to go for the free dentist camp being held at the New Haven Public Field House. She had not visited a dentist in the last five years, even when she had cracked her teeth at a young age after a fall. She spent the night outside the facility because she was determined to be one of the first to visit the camp. She was determined to put a smile back on her face.

The chance to get a free dental checkup drew a large number of people from across the state. By the time the clinic opened at 8, there were nearly 520 people who had registered for the free camp. Some had even come the previous night, determined to be one of the first in this huge sea of mankind. The clinic opened at 8 am but by then, hundreds had registered. The organizers repeated the camp on 20th of April, bowing to the huge demand.

Even seasoned dentists like Dr. Robert schreibman were overwhelmed when they saw the huge line of people waiting patiently for a checkup. It was especially touching because this was estimated to be the second richest state in the country! People were queuing up for the dental checkup even at 7 pm the night before.

It is estimated that around 1 million people residing in Connecticut are deprived of basic dental care. This was especially obvious at the Mission of Mercy organized last year. Many people had to be turned away, even at 7am in the morning of the camp, because of overcrowding.

This years’ camp was especially relevant given the rapid increase in the rate of layoffs, loss of dental insurance and the provision of money which could be used to secure dental care. The situation could get worse, if the governor’s budget proposed cuts in Medicaid that would do away with all types of dental care, except the basic emergency one.

However, as of now, dentists are cheerful about the whole program. They believe that it is not a cure, but may be a temporary respite for people with acute cases. It is especially relevant for people who do not have dental covers and therefore, cannot afford visits to the dentist. It is also relevant for people who have exhausted their coverage limit in a particular visit to the dentist. Many of the people who came to the camp were people who were tired of the conventional methods of dealing with their toothaches. Some were even people who had not seen a dentist for around nine years.

Medicare does not provide covers for dental needs, except in rare situations. For this reason, this sort of program is very relevant and useful for people.

The dentists who were part of the program said that they were very pleased with the turnout, especially because there were a number of volunteers who helped with the program.

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