Even during the coronavirus pandemic where many folks have sheltered at home, uninsured residents may find themselves in unbearable pain from a toothache and needing treatment. These individuals, should they call for an appointment on July 6, could be seen and treated by a volunteer dentist at a mobile dental clinic.
“The Georgia Baptist Mobile Dental Unit will be at Washington Heights Baptist Church (1495 Washington Road in Thomson) July 9-11, providing free dental care to those without dental coverage and in need of an extraction,” said Pastor Doug Thompson. “This unit is staffed by licensed dentists from within the state of Georgia.”
The mobile clinic is a cooperative ministry of the Baptist Medical/Dental Fellowship and the Georgia Baptist Mission Board and exists to provide a caring environment and Christian witness to the underserved people of Georgia.
Potential patients should call 706-595-3283 on Monday, July 6, between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon (12 p.m.) to register for the dental clinic, according to Thompson.
“This is the only way to register, especially with heightened social-distancing guidelines and safety precautions in place,” the pastor said. “Space will be limited. We will not be able to accept walk-ins for this year's clinic. ”
Thompson said this is the fifth year the mobile dental unit has served local residents.
The pastor said a licensed dentist and two dental assistants will volunteer for each day of the clinic, for a total of three different dentists volunteering over the three-day clinic.
Patients must fill out health screening paperwork and undergo temperature and blood pressure checks. They can relay their symptoms to a dental assistant prior to examination, Thompson explained.
Once a procedure has been completed, a patient will be given pain medication and post-procedure instructions for recovery, he said.
The pastor added that it is rare for a patient to be turned away from the clinic, except perhaps in the event of high blood pressure.
However, he reiterated that with COVID-19 restrictions in place, patients must make an appointment to be seen at this year’s mobile dental clinic.
Thompson estimates about 40 patients will be seen during the clinic.
“We’re going to have to see fewer people this year because of the spacing guidelines,” he said.
Still, being able to help as many people as possible is a blessing, the pastor said.
“Jesus told us to help our neighbors out and that’s what we’re doing,” Thompson said.