Finding affordable dental care is difficult, and for the poor of Missouri, the only option is often charity dental care.
Dr. William Kane is a dentist who runs a charity dental clinic called Smiles of Hope in Dexter, Mo.
Dr. Kane gets inundated with requests for dental appointments every month, including applications from as far as West Virginia. With the help of two other dentists, he can treat around seventy patients in a single day.
There are so many people in need of emergency dental care, that he compares the clinic to a M.A.S.H unit – a mass casualty dental clinic. Smiles of Hope is run out of the Lighthouse Christian Center church in Dexter.
Patients pay a flat fee of $20 for their dental treatment, as that’s all they can realistically afford. The unit works like an emergency room, and patients just requiring teeth cleaning or simple fillings are refered elsewhere. more