LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – For many, the cost of dental care is one that can’t be paid; those without insurance or dental coverage options are finding it a challenge to keep their grin in tip-top shape.
But the newest dental clinic in Little Rock is hoping to solve that issue – by brightening smiles with more than just tools.
The Immanuel Baptist Church City Center held its third monthly dental clinic Friday morning, a free service for those who are uninsured or unable to afford dental care. The center itself opened in February of 2020, but the clinic was delayed until this summer due to COVID concerns.
Local dentists and community members volunteer their time for a few hours each month to treat those with toothaches, offering extractions free of cost and guidance for future care.
For patient David Schons, living with tooth pain was debilitating, a throbbing that he says never went away.
“It affects your life,” Schons said. “Huge.”
Some coworkers had told Schons about the City Center dental clinic, a place where he could get the care he needed without a referral. He admitted to worrying that the clinic would just send him to another dentist; but instead, his pain was taken care of in only a few minutes.
“No insurance is really our criteria, and a toothache is really the other,” explained Dr. David Rainwater, one of the dentists on call. “A lot of people fit into that box. We started with one and now, we’re up to probably 15 today.”
But the clinic hopes to heal more than just patients’ smiles, offering a prayer service prior to and after the treatments for those looking for a moment of reflection.
“We meet those needs while at a different angle, we’re also meeting the spiritual needs as well,” Rainwater explained.
In terms of healthcare, the dental clinic hopes to expand its offered services but is currently only doing extractions. They’re open once a month on Friday mornings and take appointments over the phone. For more information on booking an appointment or on volunteering, call the City Center at 501-396-3355.