Dental clinic overwhelmed by demand

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Members of staff at a dental clinic, which has recently re-opened after a three month long closure, have been overwhelmed by demand for treatment.

The Southeastern Dental Clinic reopened on the 7th February after a three month-long closure; the clinic was forced to close in November due to funding issues. When the clinic was closed there was a shortage of affordable dental care and many people went without the treatment they needed.

Kathleen Meckstroth, Washington County Health Commissioner, said that there had been a significant increase in patient numbers since the clinic reopened in February. Usually, the clinic treats between 10 and 15 patients per day, but since it has reopened, there has been an average number of 25 patients per day.

The increase in patient numbers echoes a national trend, with many reduced rate clinics and free dental events experiencing a significant increase in demand for their services. Some patients are spending hours queuing for free dental clinics, with some even camping out overnight in freezing temperatures to ensure that they get an appointment.

The Ohio clinic reopened with the help of a grant from the Ohio Department of Health; the clinic is open to everyone and operates a sliding fee scale, meaning that people pay as much as they can afford for treatment. The minimum fee for treatment has increased from $20 to $30; this is to help with the running costs of the clinic.

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