Adult emergency dental clinic opens Sept. 27Published 10:44pm Monday, September 16, 2013
Polk and Rutherford County adults without dental insurance will soon have a saving grace for emergency dental care at the Collins Dental Center.
The emergency clinic will start Friday, Sept. 27 at the Collins Dental Center, located at 158 White Drive, Columbus. Potential patients must make an appointment for the clinic, which will be held on Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon. Appointments can be made by calling the Collins Dental Center Monday through Thursday prior to the Friday clinic.
Rutherford Polk McDowell District Health Director Jimmy Hines said the emergency dental clinic is in response to a community need.
“We don’t want anyone to go in pain and I think that’s the main thing,” Hines said. “It is to deal with folks who are hurting and they feel like they can’t turn anywhere else.”
Start-up funds for the emergency clinic will come from the Rutherford Polk McDowell Health District and the Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry, which partners to run the Collins Dental Clinic for children.
Hines said the adult emergency clinic will be sustained through its patients, with the clinic designed to be cost effective while giving patients low-cost treatment for emergencies.
To qualify for the emergency dental clinic persons must be a resident of either Polk or Rutherford counties, ages 21 and older, have Medicaid insurance or be uninsured and have a true dental emergency, such as pain that has persisted for days without relief.
The health district has hired Dr. Dale McClean out of Hendersonville to be the primary dentist with Collins Dental Center’s Dr. Doug Stroud also working as needed.
Hines said the idea for an emergency adult clinic stemmed from calls to Outreach and Collins Dental Center with emergencies.
“Since (the Collins Dental Center) has been open the last six years, the priority has been children and we will continue to do that, but from time to time we will get calls from adults with emergencies and on occasion we have been able to help them out,” said Hines. “We want to respond to a community need.”
Persons without Medicaid must bring proof of household income and a pay stub. A sliding scale fee will be charged to those without Medicaid.
For more information about the emergency clinic or to make an appointment, call the Collins Dental Center at 828-894-3120.