Dr. Justin Cook is the part-time dentist at the Mid-Michigan District Health Department's Community-Based Dental Clinic. It's a new facility that opened a little more than a month ago.
"Tooth decay is one of the main ones we see through here. And also periodontal disease, where the patient loses the bone around the teeth and teeth overtime become loose and eventually tooth loss occurs," he explains.
The clinic serves Medicaid eligible adults in Clinton and Gratiot counties that up until now had little or no access to dental care.
"We're estimating there are 6,000 adults on Medicaid that need access to services," says MMDHD's Andrea Tabor.
As of right now, the dental clinic is only open two days a week -- on Thursdays and Fridays.
"If we find we're successful and financially viable through the Medicaid reimbursement, as well as community support, we're really excited at the possibility of opening our doors more than two days a week," says Tabor.
With the help of full and part-time employees, along with volunteers, the clinic is expected to see about 600-patients a year.
"Without regular dental check-ups, the disease can progress past a point where we can heal it back to normal. People who didn't have access to care in this area now will be able to prevent a lot of that disease," says Dr. Cook.
To set up an appointment or for more information call the MMDHD at 989-227-3131 or log on to www.mmdhd.org.