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Sue Guinn Legg

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Delta Dental gives clinic reason to smile

June 25th, 2014 8:54 pm by Sue Guinn Legg

Delta Dental gives clinic reason to smile

Delta Dental on Wednesday announced its award of $60,935 to Johnson City’s nonprofit, all-volunteer Keystone Dental Care clinic for low-income adults without access to dental care.

The one-time gift was awarded through Delta Dental’s Smile180 initiative to empower Tennesseans to live more productively by improving their oral health through access affordable to dental care.

Keystone Dental Care Executive Director Lisa Eggers said $48,935 of the funding was designated for the clinic’s capital needs and used to purchase a state-of-the-art digital X-ray machine that has replaced an aging machine that was donated to the clinic at the time of its opening.

“It used to take us at least 15 minutes to develop X-ray film because we were using equipment from a 1999 donation,” Eggers said. “Thanks to Delta Dental, we now have the latest technology allowing us to spend our time with patients. . . . This technology puts our clinic at a new level of service for our community, and we are grateful.”

Eggers said a little more than $12,000 of Delta Dental’s contribution will go to the clinic’s day-to-day operations. The gift also included a year’s supply of toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and other oral hygiene products for the clinic’s patients.

Delta Dental’s Smile180 is a philanthropic initiative that supports Tennessee’s dental colleges, children’s hospitals and free and reduced-cost dental clinics in order to enhance the oral health and well-being of the uninsured individuals across the state.

Explaining the purpose of the Smile180, Dr. Phil Wenk, president and CEO of Delta Dental, said, “We believe in the transformative power of a smile to truly turn someone’s life around and want to support clinics across our state that are improving the oral care of so many individuals in need.”

“We are proud to support the good works of Keystone Dental Care,” Wenk said.

The grass-roots clinic was founded in Johnson City in 1999 by Johnson City-area dentists and their staff members who continue to donate their time and professional skills to provide basic dental care, extractions and fillings to uninsured adults who meet federal poverty guidelines.

The clinic regularly works with local cancer treatments center to provide dental care to patients who cannot begin cancer treatment or with infections in their teeth.

In addition to professional volunteer support, the clinic is funded through charitable contributions from the United Way of Washington County, individual supporters and the city of Johnson City.

More information about the clinic is available at www.keystonedentalcare.com or may be obtained by calling 232-0919.

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