JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Many people in this state are living with pain associated with no dental care and that can lead to even greater health problems.
The School of Dentistry at UMMC is offering free dental care during the third annual Dental Mission Week. The program is scheduled for February 4th through the 8th, but the deadline to apply is January 10th.
Last year, over 1,800 patients participated. Dental students, faculty, staff and volunteers will help patients.
Dr. John Smith, an Assistant Dean with the School of Dentistry explains some of the biggest problems they see.
Dr. Smith said, “lot of decay, a lot of missing teeth. I think the status is that 55% of Mississippians have severe tooth loss, not all tooth loss, but severe enough that it affects their chewing which affects their overall health and there are so many links between oral health now and medical conditions.”
Dr. Smith says there are still some openings and they want to see as many people as they can especially those with dental problems.
“The chief complaint is what we really want to deal with for patients. Someone having tooth pain, or some kind of gum problem. Something that affects their life, their work, or their family. That’s who we really want to target.”
There are only a few days left to apply. Veterans who don't qualify for dental benefits at the VA Medical Center can also participate.
You can pick up applications at the Jackson Medical Mall,(Center Stage Information Desk), UMMC Main Hospital (Guest Services) and the School of Dentistry (Main Entrance 2nd Floor).