Dental clinic services growing

July 2, 2009

By GINNY WRAY - Bulletin Staff Writer

Services provided by the Piedmont Virginia Dental Health Foundation in 2008-09 were worth 16.8 percent more than those provided in 2007-08.

According to figures released by Dr. Mark Crabtree, president of the foundation, the clinic provided $532,165 worth of services during the 2008-09 academic year, compared with the previous year’s total of $455,735.

The clinic, on Fayette Street in Martinsville, provides basic dental care services to unemployed and uninsured adults and children eligible for Medicaid benefits. The services are performed by students in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry and School of Dental Hygiene, which is why performance figures are given for the academic year.

In 2009, the Community Dental Clinic, during 2,457 appointments, provided 1,416 preventive services as well as 1,129 fillings, 95 root canals and 1,135 extractions.

The previous year, during 2,255 appointments, the clinic provided 1,190 preventive services and 1,091 fillings, 121 root canals and 893 extractions.

Appointments for adults increased from 1,361 in 2008 to 1,607 this year in addition to the 850 appointments for children this year, compared with 894 last year.

Crabtree said the clinic’s goal was to serve as many adults as possible, because children have Medicaid coverage and could see other dentists.

In 2007, $282,072 worth of services was provided in 1,429 appointments. The clinic served 936 adults and 493 children.

The dental students worked at the clinic 60 days in 2008-09, and they have committed to work 80 days in the coming year, Crabtree said.

Four students and one dental hygienist work a four-day rotation every other week at the clinic, he said.

“Through this extramural rotation, our fourth-year dental students learn to work faster and gain confidence they will need as they transition into practice. At the same time, they help the clinic meet the oral health needs of the community in a public health setting. It is a quintessential win, win, win. The clinic wins, the students win, and the patients win,” said Dr. Ron Hunt of the Virginia Commonwealth School of Dentistry.

The VCU School of Dentistry has appointed 29 local dentists as well as Dr. Susan O’Conner from Galax to serve as faculty adjunct clinical instructors, supervising the VCU students with their work. Those dentists make up 80 percent of the practicing dentists in Martinsville and Henry County.

They are Drs. Charles E. Ayers, Crabtree, Craig B. Dietrich, Gregory T. Gendron, Charles W. Jenkins, Michael L. Jones, David C. Jones, James A. Jordan, Michael E. Lavinder, Raymond F. Mallinak, J. Peyton Moore Jr., James K. Muehleck, John W. Rhoday, James W. Shearer, Edward P. Snyder, George A. Stermer Jr., Denise J. Unterbrink, John H. Walrod, James L. Wilson, Fred B. Caffey, Hubert E. Kiser Jr., James E. Hartigan, Franklin J. Verbos Sr., Laura R. Mallinak, Walcey C. Burris III, Kenneth B. Midkiff, Emily Mallinak, John R. Wheless III and Marvin Perdue.

Crabtree thanked those who helped with the clinic and said demands for its services continue to grow.

“We appreciate everyone who had a part in making this year a great success. And while we are very happy to have had such a great year, the demand for dental services at the community dental clinic remains very high. The Class of 2010 has started seeing patients this month, and this year, with an increased number of days committed from the dental school, the Community Dental Clinic will hopefully build upon the Class of 2009’s performance,” he said.

People needing the clinic’s services should call 632-7727 to get on the waiting list. There are 1,000 people on that list, Crabtree said.

“We try to get to as many as we can. There is more need than we can handle,” he added.


Select News Year: