09.02.2009 The Salvation Army No Comments

Loma Linda University Provides Free Dental Care

A team from the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry, supervised by Dr. Perry Burtch, DDS, (back row, right) visited The Salvation Army recently and offered 16 of its guests free dental screenings. Roosevelt Carroll, (front row, right) director of The Salvation Army’s Hospitality House, said the mobile dental clinic was well received, and about 150 people requested information about the dental services Loma Linda University offers at its School of Dentistry campus. Carl Dameron photo

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) – Sixteen guests of The Salvation Army recently received free dental screenings and cleanings when the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry brought its “Clinic With A Heart,” to the San Bernardino Corps parking lot.

“The clinic is actually an RV equipped with two dental chairs, an X-ray station and a sanitizer,” said Perry Burtch, DDS, who supervised a team of four student dentists when the clinic went to The Salvation Army. “We go to various locations throughout the year because we want to help as many people as we can.”

“While the mobile clinic was only able to see 16 patients, as many as 150 asked for more information about the clinic it offers on the Loma Linda campus,” said Roosevelt Carroll, director of the Salvation Army’s Hospitality House shelter.

“We enjoyed Loma Linda University’s presence,” Carroll said. “We hope they will come back soon.”

With the mobile clinic’s visit, The Salvation Army was able to add dental care to the vast array of services it provides. On a daily basis, it offers shelter to the homeless, hot meals to the needy and educational programs with a spiritual component to youth and children. It also helps people who are affected by natural disasters such as fires and floods.

Loma Linda University’s mobile dental clinic visits elementary schools in Redlands and Mentone on a weekly basis, offering the children who attend there such services as dental fillings and extractions, Burtch said. It also visits a homeless shelter in Riverside on a monthly basis, offering a similar service to the adults-only guests of that shelter.

And, it selects 10 to 12 other locations a year where low-income people may be concentrated, Burtch said. These are primarily to make the community more aware of low-cost dental services provided at the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry

At the locations where it isn’t regularly visiting, services are limited to dental screenings and cleanings. “Student dentists can’t work as fast as a regular dentists,” Burtch explained. “Since we want to help as many people as possible, we provide a limited amount of services and refer them to our dental clinic on campus if they need more than routine care.”

Anyone interested in these low-cost dental services, which accept most insurance plans, should call 558-4675 to make arrangements to be seen. For urgent care, call (909) 558-4666. To make arrangements for children under the age of 15, please call (909) 558-4689.

About the Salvation Army San Bernardino Corps
The Salvation Army may be able to provide emergency services including food; lodging for homeless or displaced families; clothing and furniture; assistance with rent or mortgage and transportation when funds are available. The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network assists rescue workers and evacuees in such disasters as fires.

The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the Universal Christian Church, and also offers evangelical programs for boys, girls and adults. One of the largest charitable and international service organizations in the world, The Salvation Army has been in existence since 1865 and in San Bernardino since 1887, supporting those in need without discrimination. Donations may always be made online at www.salvationarmyusa.org or by calling 1-(800)-SAL-ARMY.

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