The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

July 20, 2013

Pair of dental vans coming to Enid in August, September

ENID, Okla. — Two mobile dental vans are coming to Enid to provide dental care for those without insurance.

On Aug. 17 the MobileSmiles Oklahoma dental van, operated by the Oklahoma Dental Foundation and Delta Dental Foundation, will make its second visit to Enid Community Clinic. It was last here in April.

Janet Cordell, Enid Community Clinic coordinator, said that, like last time, people can call Merle Isaak at Garfield County Health Department to get on the list to be seen. That phone number is (580) 233-0650.

Those whose names are put on the list will need to come to the clinic beforehand and fill out paperwork for their exam.

“We had 45 on the list the first time,” Cordell said.

Cordell said there was a waiting list for the clinic’s earlier visit and a waiting list will be made for the August visit as well, but appointments will stop being taken when capacity is reached.

Last time, the van had one dentist to see patients, Cordell said. All together, 16 patients were seen in the van that day and two children were seen later by a local dentist.

The MobileSmiles dental van set a new record during its last visit to Enid. It was the most extractions the van ever did in a single day, Cordell noted.

The clinic still is soliciting volunteer dentists for the August visit.

On Sept. 21, the Baptist Medical Dental Fellowship’s Mobile Healthcare Ministry Van will set up at Trinity Baptist Church, 1818 E. Chestnut.

John Doffer, pastor at Trinity Baptist, said the van will be at the church parking lot and open to see patients 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Two local dentists agreed to volunteer their services when members of the congregation asked them, Doffer said.

“We’re going to have appointments,” Doffer said. “We’re going to try to stick as close to the schedule as we can.”

Patients will be scheduled 15 minutes apart.

“What they will do is extractions only,” Doffer said. “There is no cosmetic work to it or cleaning.”

Doffer said he already was familiar with the Baptist dental van because he’s been a volunteer driver for the program for about a year, driving it to other cities in Oklahoma where visits were sponsored by local churches.

Besides the two volunteer dentists, two medical assistants who are members of the congregation will assist with the work.

In conjunction with the dental van’s visit to Trinity Baptist, Feed the Children will be on hand to do eye exams and give away glasses for children and adults.

Those scheduled to get services during the visit to Trinity will need to arrive early to fill out paperwork regarding medical history and a release form, Doffer said.

Bill Sisson, North American Ministries consultant for Baptist Medical Dental Fellowship, said the most people seen on the dental van during a single day is 319. Typically, the dental van sees between 100 and 200 per day.

Sisson said the eye exam and eyeglasses ministry operated by Feed the Children is the international medical outreach of the well-known agency.

“They bring 18 to 20 of their staff,” Sisson said. “They make one outing per month. If possible, we have them go with the dental van.”

To make an appointment for services from the Mobile Healthcare Ministry Van, call the office of Trinity Baptist Church at (580) 234-8812.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, 56 Oklahoma counties, including Garfield, Grant, Kay, Major, Noble, Woods and Woodward counties in northwest Oklahoma, have a shortage of dental health professionals.

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