Pop-up Clinic Brings Free Dental Care to Ashtabula County
A former Dillard's department store in Ashtabula Towne Square was filled again this weekend, but with patients instead of shoppers. It was the site of a pop-up clinic run by Remote Area Medical, a non-profit organization that brings free healthcare to underserved and rural areas. On offer was a range of services including general medicine, chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, vision, and dental care. The most popular by far among Ashtabula residents was the dentistry.
Christine Harding was one of the more than 800 people who received dental care there.
"I needed a filling on the right side, and then I had a filling that fell out on the left side and there was just basically the roots left of the tooth," she said. Dentists were able to fix her nerve pain, and they also corrected a crooked front tooth that made Harding self-conscious. "I literally cried when they were done with my procedure. The first thing people notice is your smile," she said.
Having healthy teeth is more than just a status symbol though. Bad oral health is linked to heart problems, stroke, even premature birth.
Ashtabula County has about 3,000 residents to every one dentist — one of the worst ratios in Northeast Ohio, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's 2019 County Health Rankings.
Hear more about healthcare issues in Ashtabula County this Wednesday at 9:00 am on the broadcast of The Sound of Ideas Community Tour.