March 1, 2016
Access to dental care in rural communities in Colorado continues to be a hot button issue in the state. In underserved areas, seeking treatment from a dentist isn’t always as easy as calling up a local dental practice, Federally Qualified Health Center, or Community-Based Dental Clinic and making an appointment. It sometimes involves taking time off of work and traveling a substantial distance to a dental practice that might be across the county or one county over. In extreme cases, patients might forego treatment, causing their dental problems to persist or escalate, forcing patients to visit the emergency room instead of a dentist. That’s why one dentist, Dr. Arnold Cullum, has taken it upon himself to make a difference—via a mobile dental clinic he calls Rural Dental Centers.
Meeting a Need in Rural Colorado
Based on statistics in an American Dental Association Health Policy Institute (HPI) report, “The Oral Health Care System: A State-by-State Analysis,” the outreach and dedication by the CDA and its member dentists to improve access to dental care across the state have been working. But more can be done, and that’s where dentists like Dr. Cullum, who understand the need and are passionate about finding a solution, come in.
Dr. Cullum hopes his traveling clinic and nonprofit will relieve a burden for individuals in remote, low-income households throughout the state who struggle with access to a dentist.
The Full Story
Check out the Spring 2016 Journal of the Colorado Dental Association for a feature-length article about Cullum and his mobile dental clinic.
Join the Conversation
The CDA’s initiative Dental Health Matters focuses on recognizing communities that struggle with access to dental care and enlisting the help of stakeholders who can make a difference in those communities. Be part of that conversation by following Dental Health Matters on Twitter and liking the Dental Health Matters Facebook page.