Dental professionals volunteer at clinic to make dental care affordable
WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/ WMGT) – When discussing affordable health care, some may forget that includes dental insurance, not just medical.
It’s a need some people may not know about. Rehoboth Life Care Ministries Dental Clinic is more than dentists taking care of your pearly whites. They also offer counseling for patients going through hardship. Volunteers say the people coming through the doors aren’t patients. They’re family.
“Money doesn’t last forever and put me in a place where they’ve helped me considerably and god has been good to me all my life and thanks to these people, it means so much,” patient Larry Miller said.
He’s a retired veteran and Rehoboth Life Care Ministries Dental Clinic’s new patient. He’s been coming to the volunteer clinic for about four months.
“I like the courtesy of it all. The staff is totally courteous, training is good, doctors are wonderful, I like it too because there’s a ministry here,” he said.
He’s getting ready to get partials made within the next few weeks. Because of the volunteer dental clinic, he’s able to fit dental work in his budget.
“Retirement income, with inflation as it is, I have to watch every penny I get,” Miller said.
The dental clinic helps those who make too much for government help, but not enough to afford paying for insurance.
“Our patients are 150-percent of the federal poverty level,” Rehoboth Life Care Dental Clinic Director Terry Horn said.
Dentists, hygienists, counselors and students volunteer their spare time to make sure patients at the clinic, walk out with smiles.
Those who live in shelters, it’s free. Otherwise, patients pay a small fee.
“They’ve paid for this and this is their health. We want them to have control over that also and feel ‘I’ve worked for this and I’m going to take care of this.’ So it’s a lot more than fixing their teeth. It’s the dental knowledge,” Horn said.
Even though most of the staff isn’t getting paid and are just doing this for the love of their job and patients. The reward is just that.
“When people look at you with tears in their eyes and say ‘thank you, I could not have done this without you.’ It’s just awesome,” Horn said.
The clinic only serves patients in Houston, Peach, Crawford and Taylor Counties. The clinic is funded through grants and local churches help, too.
Horn says they try to do clinics twice a week.
On August 17th, the clinic is holding a fundraising golf tournament. They’re in need of volunteers for the event.
To find out more about the fundraiser or when the next clinic day is, you can head to their Facebook page.