St. Francis Mission Dental Clinic Update!
The St. Francis Mission Dental Clinic has experienced its busiest year to date. We wanted to give you an update on the clinic, so here we go!
The Clinic has held 10 dental clinics so far this year in, serving almost 500 patients this year for multiple types of dental services. Two additional clinics are planned for 2014, bringing the total number of clinics to 12 this year, meeting our goal of at least one clinic per month.
The clinic has four chairs, and relies on volunteer dentists, hygienists and dental students. “The South Dakota Dental Association has been a big help in finding volunteers who give their time and let us run their clinics,” says Marty Jones, RDH and the clinic manager “They have been a great supporter of the clinic, and we’ve also worked collaboratively with Delta Dental and Circle of Smiles.”
While the majority of volunteer dentists come from South Dakota, dental student volunteers often come from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska and from many different states around the country. “We have clinics planned with a volunteer dentist from Louisiana, and one from Massachusetts in the next 6 month and we will be participating in Rosebud Dental Days with large groups of volunteer dentists at least 5 times in 2015. The St. Francis Mission Dental Clinic’s goal is to have a minimum of one clinic per month for Rosebud residents. ”
We also plan to grow the clinic as well! “At present, we provide general dental services including fillings, dental cleanings and routine extractions, and when we can secure the services of an Oral Surgeon, more complex services. We also plan to get a collaborative agreement to allow a hygienist to do initial patient exams without a dentist present. This will allow us to start new patients outside of regular clinic dates, and expand our practice.”
In addition to providing dental services, the Clinic is working with the children of Sapa Un Academy, who are learning about dental health, and are seeking ways to work with other community health initiatives. “Providing much needed services & education allows us to extend the health of the community. And that is consistent with a mission of dental health”
In addition to relying on volunteers, the St. Francis Mission Dental Clinic is in need of both equipment and investment. To learn what dental equipment the clinic needs, click here. To learn how to invest in dental health on the reservation, click here!
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