A team from South Florida Dental Care recently volunteered their services at Florida Mission of Mercy. The goal of the mission is to serve the uninsured and underserved Florida residents without access to regular dental care. To this end, they offer free dental care to the less fortunate by organizing large-scale dental clinics around the state.
Our team was proud to participate in a two-day intensive clinic in Fort Myers in early March.
How does it work? Why do we believe it’s so important?
What You Need to Know about Florida Mission of Mercy
The 2018 Florida Mission of Mercy in Fort Myers treated over 1,900 patients with free dental services valued at over $1.75 million.
Dr. Leonardo Frydman, along with dental hygienist Amy Reyes and dental assistant Sofia Karachalios, represented South Florida Dental Care at the event, which has been held in Florida since 2014. They performed cleanings, extractions, and root canals on both children and adults.
Clinics like these are incredibly valuable, because one in five Americans can’t afford dental care, and half don’t get treatment until serious problems develop. Medicaid in its current form isn’t the answer either.
For one, there are a huge number of people who fall through this safety net because they earn too much to qualify – but still not enough to pay for regular dental care. Somewhere around 40 percent of Florida residents cannot afford quality dental care.
Secondly, even the 20+ percent of Florida residents receive Medicaid insurance do not receive adequate dental coverage. How so? While the program covers regular dental checkups for children, adults only qualify for emergency care and once-per-lifetime dentures. Procedures like cleanings and fillings aren’t covered at all.
These individuals often end up visiting the emergency room for dental care, which is not equipped to handle oral health problems like dental offices. Emergency room workers only treat an infection with antibiotics, which prolongs the problem.
Simply put, this is an insufficient system. Regular preventive care – like twice per year cleanings – has been shown to ward off the majority of dental problems.
Organizations like Mission of Mercy seek to fill in some of the gaps in our system by treating as many people as possible who otherwise wouldn’t get help until there was some kind of emergency – making the problem more difficult and more expensive to treat.
Financial Arrangements at South Florida Dental Care
Sadly, organizations like Mission of Mercy and large-scale dental clinics such as the one we volunteered at in Fort Myers are not enough to solve the problem on their own. That’s why South Florida Dental Care seeks to make things a bit easier for patients by offering different payment arrangements for those who need them.
Our CareCredit program allows people who can’t afford the entire cost of the treatment they need right away to make payments with no interest. Available plans give patients the ability to pay off their balance in three, six, 12, or 18 months. You need a minimum of $300 in dental care to qualify for plans that last longer than three months, minimum monthly payments are required, and other restrictions may apply as well.
We also offer an extended payment plan with a 13.90% APR. This plan has fixed minimum monthly payments for 24, 36, or 48 months for balances of $1,000 or more, or 60 months for balances of $2,500 and up.
For more information, contact our team to discuss which payment plan is right for you.
Get Back on Track with Your Dental Health Before Problems Arise
If it’s been a while since you visited a dentist, we’d love to get you back on track. Here’s a sampling of the dental care services we offer:
- Dental Hygiene
- Sedation Dentistry
- Root Canals
- Dental Implants
- Cosmetic Bonding
- Cosmetic Dentistry
- Teeth Whitening
- Porcelain Overlays
- Porcelain Veneers
Don’t let finances interfere with your oral health. Reach out to us for a consultation, and we’ll come up with a treatment plan that’s right for you.