Business offers dental care for those in need

Dr. Kia Johnson, right, and dental assistant Tanika Whitsett, work on a patient.

Business offers dental care for those in need
November 01
12:30 2018

United Health Centers (UHC) has three convenient locations throughout Forsyth County. To further help those with insurance issues, their Peters Creek Parkway location now offers dental services.

The center offers services such as cleanings, extractions, limited root canal therapy, and other prosthetics, to name a few.  The clinic has been open since May and the staff is attempting to spread the word on the services.

“The office is focused on the oral health of the community, versus a cosmetic type of clinic,” said Casey Reynolds, dentist at UHC.  “We try to focus on seeing as many people as possible, because we really became the only game in town as far as public health dentistry.

“We certainly have a lot of patients that need a lot of work, so getting people out of pain and getting people to a place of oral health is our primary focus,” he continued. 

The new dentistry options the center offers are open to anyone. The fees for the dentistry works on a sliding scale based on the wages of the patient.

“Really anyone is eligible, because we will see patients with no insurance, Medicaid, or private insurance,” said Alana Kirk, UHC financial services representative.  “One thing people don’t know is that even if you have private insurance, you can still use the sliding fee scale.”

According to Kirk, most basic services start around the $40 mark and can go up to $130.  For crowns or dentures, the fees are higher. Kirk says the clinic mostly sees patients that are unemployed or are hovering around the poverty line. 

Dr. Kia Johnson is the other dentist at the Peters Creek Parkway location. She says the biggest problem they encounter is gum disease. 

“I think some of our patients have not had access to a dentist in so long, not having that thorough cleaning in 15 or 20 years takes its toll,” said Johnson.  “It’s not that people are not brushing, but over time not having that preventative care is evident.”

Johnson and Reynolds take tremendous pride in providing the absolute best care for their patients. They say it gives them great pleasure to alleviate some of these oral issues their patients are dealing with.

“It is a wonderful feeling. All throughout my training, everything I did was to prepare me for public health,” said Johnson.  “It’s nice to find a public health center that meets my own personal goals, as well as the goals of the community.

“I think in this area, it has been long overdue,” she continued.  “People tell me they haven’t been to the dentist because it hasn’t been a clinic like this in the area. I had a patient today that didn’t smile that said she hasn’t smiled in years, so to be able to provide them with that opportunity is all worth it.”

Reynolds said if both doctors are in the office, they see an average of 30 patients in a given day. He says many of the dental patients are already patients in the medical clinic.

“We definitely want people to come and we want to have exposure to people that need it the most,” Reynolds continued.  “It’s been great, and fulfilling is definitely the word I would use because many of our patients here are so grateful for the services we offer.”

“I just moved here in August, so just coming into the community and immediately people being grateful you are there has been a good feeling.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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