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No dentist on staff; clinic closes

August 22, 2013

After seven years serving the local community the Southeastern Ohio Dental Clinic closed its Marietta office this month, citing the inability to find a full-time dentist as the main reason for the......

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Aug-22-13 6:34 PM

If I had not worked for a living, had great dental care which I and my insurance paid for, and make an effort to keep my teeth healthy, I wouldn't currently have teeth.

Many, many people lack dental insurance, including those who work hard for a living. Dental health goes far beyond the mouth. Infected gums and rotting teeth can cause septicemia, heart attacks, and a number of other illnesses. It's really a part of our medical and should be treated as such.

Re: people not paying for missed appointments. I completely get that. Something has to be used to prevent people being no-shows. That's not my beef. I offered to pay for the missed appointments (I was in hospital for one).

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Aug-22-13 5:23 PM

This dental clinic needed a long term plan from the start. The board and its employees didn't effectively pursue a back-up plan for covering the dentists who were working in the clinic. I am sorry it closed, it was a very much needed service.

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Aug-22-13 5:06 PM

New works been to a dentist lately? It's not cheap especially if you need work done beyond cleaning and X-rays. I've known people with jobs but without dental insurance to put it last on their list because of the price.

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Aug-22-13 5:06 PM

the philanthropic view of others career investments and skillsets is not uncommon. it's always preferable to have others give up freely for anothers personal benefit. it is about the money. ones lack to pay for needed services and ones need for funds to cover training and ongoing costs. just for starters, consider that on average a dentist has invested ten years and accumulated a debt of about $200,000.00. along with this burden of debt and more than likely their own family to provide for, you have folks missing appointments and wanting you to volunteer for their benefit. given enough money (average for ohio is $198.000.00 annually) a dentist could be hired to provide the subsidized services that folks in your area desire. don't forget there is always a bottle of whiskey and a pair of pliars to get the job done if the dentist thing doesn't pan out. naturally i hope it does.

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Aug-22-13 4:37 PM

How about all the welfar people get a job and they can pay for their own dentist.

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Aug-22-13 12:46 PM

The reason for the two no-shows is that the dentist has huge gaps in his schedule and then the clinic isn't making money. The healthy smiles clinic in Caldwell has the same policy. Unfortunately the board has little control over getting a dentist. The older dentists are retiring and the younger ones want to stay in more metropolitan areas so that they can get bigger fees. A few years ago I had heard that the dental schools were limiting the number of students they were admitting. It's all about money.

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Aug-22-13 12:17 PM

The County Health Board has the power to make it happen. The make-up of the County Health Board needs to change. It needs to be made up of people who actually have knowledge of, and experience with, public health, instead of people appointed because they're cronies, or township trustees. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

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Aug-22-13 12:14 PM

Good idea Watchdog1, but none of them are stepping up to the plate.

It's a shame the program ended and that Dr. White left. He was a great dentist and the staff was wonderful too. They had a policy that didn't help them though and that policy was developed with the help of the County Health Board and Dr. Meckstroth. The policy was that if a person has two no-shows, they were permanently banned from the clinic. In the years I used the clinic I had two no-shows. Both were accidental and I offered to pay for the missed appointments so I could continue to be seen at the clinic. I even appealed to Dr. Meckstroth to allow this. She refused. So I appealed to the state who said Dr. M had the ability to make it happen, but she was choosing not to. Dumb policy and as far as I know it was changed when she left.

I hope that with Mr. Witschey administering the Health Department, there will be enough changes that the clinic can be reopened.

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Aug-22-13 11:42 AM

Geez, maybe all the area Dentist's should rotate and take turns to enable this clinic to remain open???

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