Mouthing off

Dear Dr. Ace, What’s this I hear about area dentists getting together to organize a dental clinic for low-income families? Where’s it going to be and how can I help?—Pearl E. White

Well, Pearl, you ask an important question. Because if you aren’t born with good, healthy teeth you gotta buy them. Ace, for example, though a very dashing man these days, was blessed with both a crooked jaw and what some people call Bugs Bunny teeth. Luckily, dentists were there to help.

   Unfortunately, paying for those dental bills can be more painful than an unmedicated root canal. In fact, entire countries are sometimes forced to sacrifice their national oral health (*cough* Great Britain *coughcough*) because the dental bills break the bank.

   Charlottesville, however, is in no danger of going the way of the Redcoats so long as the Community Children’s Dental Center gets up and running. The Center will provide free (or drastically discounted) dental services to low-income Charlottesvillians, particularly children.

   Dr. William Viglione, along with fellow do-gooder dentists Tom Leinbach and Crozet-based Diana Marchibroda, heads up the steering committee to raise money for and organize the Center. The plan is for it to open in August or September across from Albemarle High School on Hydraulic Road.

   “It’s known throughout the community that it’s hard to find dentists to serve the Medicaid population,” says Viglione. The Center will fill that void.

   With the support of the local dental community, the Center has lined up a full-time dentist (Viglione declined to give a name since she has yet to sign a contract) and a part-time children’s specialist. Equipment has also been donated and they’re getting a deal on rent.

   The hope, says Viglione, is that once the services get up and running, Medicaid will bear the brunt of the burden and that
“the community will respond to fill in
the gaps.”

   Now, in the past Ace has been known to make an anti-dentite joke or two when the question of fluoride arises. However: No more. On hearing about the Community Children’s Dental Center, Ace blushed at the recollection of past flippancies.

   So Ace, for one, plans to apologize by busting out his ATM card. You, too, can help, dear readers, by opening that checkbook and sending a check payable to CADA to P.O. Box 6757, Charlottesville, VA 22906. They’re also looking for translators, so if you hablas espanol give ’em a call at 973-4355.

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