Reported by Leyla Santiago and Mark O'Brien February 28, 2007
A new community dental program for low-income adults in Central Virginia started Wednesday.
A partnership involving the Charlottesville Free Clinic, the Charlottesville Albemarle Dental Society and MACAA is offering a new way for people who live within 200 percent of the poverty line to get access to dental care. Officials say the idea is not to provide immediate dental care but quicker dental care for low-income adults.
MACAA says a recent survey shows dental care is the area's top concern, but often times getting the proper attention is not so easy, especially for low-income adults.
"When you prioritize, other medical care is likely to come first. Food is going to come first. Clothing for your children is likely to come first. But dental care is really important for an individual's health," said Connie Jorgensen with MACAA.
Patients can take part in the dental program through social service providers in Central Virginia. Patients are required to pay a one-time $20 commitment fee at their first appoartment. After paying that fee, there are no additional costs.
Officials say calls for the service have been coming in all day Wednesday. More than 300 people are on the waiting list.
The program is offered to people in MACAA's service area in Charlottesville, Albemarle, Louisa, Fluvanna and Nelson. For more information, you can contact MACAA at 434-295-3171.