EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – Dental care isn’t something most think of when it comes to preventing diseases and viruses such as the coronavirus.
“Heart, allergies, everything,” Stephanie Gay, the practice manager for the dental clinic at Mercy Health in Youngstown, said. “That’s where it goes, right in the face and then it just goes throughout the body, so it’s very important to eat healthy, take care of yourself.”
Gay recommends seeing the dentist at least twice a year but realizes some people don’t have that access.
“A lot of times in rural areas, they have well water so they’re not getting their fluoridation in their water like we in the city do, so it helps a lot, and we’re just there to pick up whatever we can help people out with,” Gay said.
To continue their mission of helping those in need, they’re holding a mobile dental clinic Wednesday, March 31, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the East Palestine Memorial Public Library. To register call the library at 330-426-3778.
The clinic takes everyone, insured and uninsured and offers financial assistance to those who qualify, which is made possible in part by the Mercy Health Foundation.
“We started with one van, one chair, me, the dentist and the driver,” Gay said.
They would travel to schools and community centers and have now expanded their fleet to three vans and go to multiple places serving those in need.
“That’s what our mission is, to help the underserved, the underinsured. Our goal is to get to those people, who really don’t have the opportunity to seek that kind of care out,” Gay said.