Tonawanda News

Features

September 3, 2013

Dental clinic provides oral care to patients in need

Tonawanda News — Health officials in Niagara Falls have made it their mission to help bring smiles — bright, shining smiles — to adults in the region who are in need.

The Mount St. Mary’s Neighborhood Health Center on Ninth Street opened an adult dental clinic this past spring. The clinic uses private, anonymous grant funding to help adults without insurance get oral care.

The idea for the dental clinic came about after staff surveyed patients at the health center, which has met other medical needs since 2010. The survey found 95 percent of patients had gone at least 15 years without dental care. By offering these services, clinic officials hope to improve patients’ physical health and mental state of being.

“These are people in need,” said Sister Grace Marie Dunn, vice president of mission integration for St. Mary’s. “One man hadn’t seen his family for years because his teeth were so bad. That afternoon after coming to the clinic, he went to see them.”

Niagara Falls resident Cynthia Socko is one of about 80 people to utilize the dental clinic thus far. She said going there yielded the result Dunn and her co-workers hoped for.

“Before I went to the dental clinic, I was not able to enjoy my meals. I did not even like to be around people because of my teeth,” she said. “Today, I am smiling, and my friends and family are overwhelmed. I can eat everything, and my teeth look great.”

Patients have to meet income and insurance requirements, Dunn said. They pay what they can as a co-pay, which can be as little as $5.

“We feel that gives them more dignity, to say they’re paying a little bit,” she said. “They just can’t afford to pay the normal $25 co-pay they might be charged elsewhere.”

One patient, Niagara Falls resident Gerald Stevens, saved up several hundred dollars toward his medical care. Once he learned of the clinic, he used that money toward his procedure, which ran well more than $1,000.

Text Only
Features
  • SUN LIFE Volunteers honored 1 040614.jpg Women Who Move the City (and beyond)

    April 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • SUN LIFE POUND 1040614j jpg.jpg Rock n' roll fitness

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - crib notes RGB Enough of this winter -- it's time for spring

    Midway through separating the bits of dog food from the shredded paper towel pieces on the saturated bed sheet that had been strewn across the dining-room table, I finally realized I’d had enough.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB Dear readers, it's me, Kenny

    I have bad knees. I have been told to blame my grandmother. I have also been told to blame her for my love of animals. Today, we celebrate the 100th Critter Companions column.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE mummies 1 033014.jpg 'Mummies of the World' exhibit arrives in Buffalo

    As visitors arrived for the recent NCAA basketball tournament games in Buffalo, a much older group of visitors arrived via motorcade at the Buffalo Museum of Science — but these newcomers to the Queen City wouldn’t be seeking out a place to have a beer between games or where to find the region’s best chicken wings.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - double trouble RGB Years later, still spending sunny days on Sesame Street

    I always knew we’d hit “the Elmo years.”

    Going into parenthood, it seemed like a given. Both my husband and I  were “Sesame Street” fans from childhood ourselves, and we were happy enough to pass it on to a new generation. And we knew, having friends with children of the applicable age, that in this day and age “Sesame Street” equalled Elmo, the squeaky-voiced “furry red menace” (thus dubbed by Oscar the Grouch) of parents everywhere.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE Local Restaurant Week 2 033014.jpg Back for another bite

    As spring finally starts to unfold in Western New York, residents are likely eager to get out of their houses — and organizers of Local Restaurant Week hope they’ll consider eating out as they do that.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wineries invite visitors to take a Taste of the Trail

    If one weekend of food and wine pairings is a good thing, two weekends of food and wine pairings must be even better.

    For the first time, the Taste of the Trail event, which takes place Friday through April 6 and April 11 to 13 on the Niagara Wine Trail, will be split into two weekends, with half the trail’s wineries taking part the first weekend and half the second, said Elizabeth Maute, wine trail coordinator.

    March 31, 2014

  • sig - critter companions RGB CRITTER COMPANIONS: Rewards for playing nice

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE signs of spring 1 032314.jpg Region's favorite signs of spring gear up for season

    Ah, the signs of spring: The birdsong, the flowers, the green grass, the flowing waters of the Erie Canal or Niagara River ... and the words “Opening soon” on the marquee of your favorite seasonal business.

    March 24, 2014 1 Photo