Sunday, August 14, 2022

NHC opens applications for no-cost dental program

New Hanover County Older Adult Program is launching and applications are open for eligible patients, 55 and over. (Courtesy photo/Pexels)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Eligible adults 55 and older in New Hanover County without dental insurance have an opportunity to receive free dental care.

New Hanover County’s new Older Adult Dental Program — approved in December by the county commissioners — is accepting applications. Services provided include exams, X-rays, cleanings, fillings, extractions, root canals, dentures and more.

Services are coordinated by the New Hanover County’s Senior Resource Center and county’s public health department.  

“When we look at the older adult population in our community who are in need of medical help from our hospital or other emergency providers, one of the glaring things we’ve noticed is that many of the physical health issues they’re facing either started or is being made worse by an underlying oral care problem that wasn’t addressed,” Amber Smith, senior resource center director, said in a county press release. “By providing preventative care or responding to the oral issue early on, we have an opportunity to get them the help they need before it becomes something bigger.” 

To qualify, interested parties must be at least 55 in age and can provide proof of residency within New Hanover. “They must also have an income that is below 200 percent of the poverty level and no current dental insurance, including a Medicare Advantage plan,” according to a county release.

“We’re very excited to be the first county in North Carolina with a free dentistry program focused solely on helping older adults,” public health director David Howard said in the release.

Information on how to apply, can be found here. Paper copies are also available at the New Hanover County Senior Resource Center (2222 S. College Rd.) and at New Hanover County Health and Human Services (1650 Greenfield St.).  

Services are offered through Access Dental Health, Inc. — a North Carolina-based nonprofit that has two-plus decades of experience in mobile denistry throughout the state.  

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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