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Ways Dental Clinic in Northern Virginia Promotes Health Equity

Dental clinic in Northern Virginia has been serving our region faithfully for over 20 years. However, the clinic’s dedication to oral health access goes beyond fillings and cleanings. Here we have mentioned three ways how dental clinic works in promoting health equity as well as expanding opportunities for all.

Collaboration with Fairfax County for providing care to homeless residents

Fairfax County Health Department and Dental Clinic in Northern Virginia ( www.dulacdds/Dental-clinic-Springfield ) joined in 2011 to make dental care more accessible to homeless people residing in the county. For the homeless, getting basic dental care is very challenging due to a lack of money or insurance for covering the cost, or they may never have interacted with a dentist. Every week, workers from the health department bring a few homeless residents to the clinic for treatment. Providers work with the patients for assessing their requirements and develop a treatment plan. Currently, over 1500 visits have been logged for homeless patients. The county pays the appointment fees and allows the patients to visit the clinic up to six times for extractions, cleanings, and fillings to dentures or other prosthetic pieces.

Provides training to the dental students from around the country

Their diversified client base is a big reason why dental schools from Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, New York, and Washington D.C. send their students for training every year. There are many dental schools that require students working in community-based settings before they become graduates. It is a perfect way to provide exposure to future dental professionals to the latest procedures and learn how to deliver care that is culturally competent and respectful of linguistic, cultural and social differences. Students are trained at the clinic for one to six months. During the training period, they are exposed to a wide range of experiences like treating a client with Medicaid or interacting with a patient who has emigrated from another country. The new experiences students are getting here, generally, they do not get to perform in their school environment like dentures that require multiple appointments and highly dependent upon patient appointment compliance. Research shows these types of experiences motivate dental students in providing care to traditionally underserved populations when they are entering practice.

Dental clinic in Northern Virginia ( https://www.dulacdds.com/services-item/general-dentistry/ ) offers in-house training programs for promoting volunteer dentistry

For practicing dentists, they host continuing education courses. But, rather charging any fees, they provide an opportunity for students to volunteer at one of their locations for wither two half days or a full day. For the clinic, it is a good way to expand access to care as well as promote volunteerism and help the dentists in improving their skills. Volunteering is an important element of the clinic strategy for meeting their patient’s requirements. The clinic has more than 20 staff members, a decent size for the safety net, but not enough for catering the demand across the region. This is the reason why they regularly rely on a corps of more than 160 volunteer hygienists and dentists for serving thousands of residents each year from Loudon, Fairfax, and Arlington counties and the cities of Falls Church, Fairfax and Alexandria.