An increased demand for dental care is currently being fueled by the current economic crisis that has led to workers losing their jobs without health benefits including dental benefits. According to Dr. Steven P. Calawa job most of the people in the society cannot afford dental services in private dental offices as they have become very expensive. Most of the children visiting the clinic lack dental insurance programs that can cater for their dental needs according to Dedra Twomey, the clinic’s manager.
Dr Calawa, who is partially retired, recently joined the Greater Nashua Dental Connection which is an affordable option for dental care. He explained that the work in the clinic has been the most gratifying work he has done in his professional career. This is mainly because he is able to assist people who would not have sought him in his private clinic. Since his retirement from full time practice in June he has been working for three days a week in Nashua, Bedford Dental Arts and in Windham respectively. Before retirement he was working in Rockefeller Center in New York for over 30 years.
The Oral Health Coalition, chaired by Kristen Platte, has been setting up dental plans focusing on workforce access to fluoridation and dental care. According to Platte, people in New Hampshire have a vision of improving their oral health as a way of improving their hygiene programs and entire health.
The Families First Health and Support Center has also been witnessing an increase in demand. The Director, Helen Taft, reported that the health center serves about 2000 people. Just like the Great Nashua Dental Connection, the center has been offering its services on a sliding scale to patients without healthcare benefits and who cannot afford to pay fully. It also has a mobile dental van that reaches out to homeless people in Portsmouth, Hampton and Rochester. The center has also been offering payment plans to its patients to cater for denture costs. It has also set up a special fund to help reduce the costs.
According to Terry Miller, a Clinic Hygienist in Nashua, the use of fluoride is the most effective of preventing dental decay. Dr Calawa also pointed out that the inflammatory dental disease is linked to heart disease, diabetes and cancer.