Traverse Health Clinic helps the uninsured

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A dental programme at the Traverse Health Clinic is helping to provide oral healthcare for hundreds of people without dental insurance.

Rene Louchart, the director of dental health at the clinic, said that the number of people without dental insurance is increasing all the time, leaving many people without the means to pay for dental treatment. Costs of dental treatment are rising and many people have lost their jobs as a result of the recession; most people who were previously employed also lost their medical and dental insurance benefits when they lost their jobs and are consequently struggling to afford medical care.

The dental programme at the Traverse Health Clinic helps to find affordable healthcare options for uninsured people and those with a low income; the clinic puts patients into contact with care providers who offer reduced rate or free treatment. Currently, almost 550 patients are registered with the dental programme.

The programme is a joint venture, which involves the charity and generosity of local dentists, who give up their time and lower their prices in order to treat local residents; at the moment, 37 local dentists participate in the programme.

Patients who are registered with the Traverse Health Clinic’s dental scheme are also taught about oral hygiene and the importance of looking after their teeth and gums. Many people are unaware of the potential dangers associated with poor oral health; numerous studies have now confirmed a link between poor oral hygiene and increased risk of serious health conditions, including heart failure and strokes. 

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