Having the ability to receive dental cleanings and oral cancer screenings is something most people take for granted. However, lots of senior citizens do not receive dental care they need.
Seniors face this issue for a variety of reasons. Not having dental insurance or the financial resources is one factor. Disabilities and not having appropriate transportation are other potential issues. Missing dental appointments can end lead to tooth decay or loss, periodontal gum disease, and further complications with previously diagnosed chronic diseases.
After seeing the community need, Mercy Health partnered with Owens Community College in Toledo, OH to create the Free Dental Program. This annual event takes place at the Mercy Health Wellness Center and provides free dental care to local seniors.
“This program has impacted over 100 seniors,” says Tiffany Paris, Wellness Program Coordinator. “Being able to offer free dental services has really positively impacted many of the seniors in our community.”
For senior citizens, like Janice Tanksley and Rose Johnson, this experience has changed their life.
“I go to the wellness center about once a week and heard Tiffany doing a presentation about the Free Dental Program,” says Janice. “Immediately, I asked to sign-up. I haven’t had a dental cleaning in a long time and it felt good to have my teeth cleaned. The fact that it was free took a lot of stress away.”
As for Rose, she heard about the clinic through the senior exercise program at the Mercy Health Senior Wellness Center.
“The whole experience was a 10 out of 10,” Rose says.
“It was excellent, and I felt comfortable. I’ve been telling friends about it and I even went with one who was nervous.”
Dedication to service is what drives Mercy Health’s mission to focus on the health and well-being of our communities, bringing good help to those in need. Helping to provide free dental services is one of many ways Mercy Health works to ensure seniors receive the quality and compassionate health care they need, as well as the brighter smiles they deserve.
Learn more about our focus on community impact and how we give back.