Virginia Dental Association Foundation volunteers treat patients at the free annual clinic in Wise County.
The first event of its kind here, “Piedmont Smiles” will provide cleanings, fillings, extractions, oral surgery and endodontic services. Adults from Fauquier, Culpeper, Rappahannock, Madison and Orange counties will be eligible.
“In our region, there’s a tremendous need for accessible dental care,” Fauquier Free Clinic Director Rob Marino said. “Oral health is an essential component of overall health; it impacts your physical health, mental health, and can even have an effect on social or economic prospects.”
For more than three million uninsured adults in Virginia, accessible and affordable dental care remains difficult to receive, Mr. Marino said.
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“Since the beginning of the pandemic, dental health has been put on the back burner for many,” said Dr. Tontra Lowe, dental director for Piedmont Smiles. “We hope to bring it back to the foreground.
“While Piedmont Smiles isn’t a permanent solution to the issue of accessible dental care, we hope that the event will address any urgent issues for our community members while bringing awareness to the reality that uninsured people in Virginia face.”
The free clinic in recent years has made expansion of dental services a priority.
The Virginia Dental Association Foundation, the PATH Foundation, the Hillsdale Fund, the Virginia Health Care Foundation and the Culpeper Wellness Foundation will provide support for the one-day, pop-up event. Drs. Woodside and Sentz, Griffin and Errera Orthodontics, Digital Mobilizations, Dr. Lowe of Awesome Smiles and Fauquier Health also will help fund the clinic.
Patient registration will take place in person beginning at 7 a.m. the day of the event, but interested patients can visit http://www.piedmontsmiles.org to sign up to receive email or text message alerts with reminders and additional event information ahead of time.
Those interested in volunteering for the event, including dentists, hygienists, endodontists and non-dental volunteers, can visit the PATH Foundation’s Volunteer Hub for details and to register.
Visit www.piedmontsmiles.org for more information about the event, including frequently asked questions and event fundraising information.
The state dental association’s foundation has coordinated a free, two-day Mission of Mercy dental clinic in Wise that has treated more than 100,000 patients in Southwest Virginia over two decades. But, for the second year in a row, organizers have cancelled the clinic in Wise County because of the COVID-19 pandemic.