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Ben Massell Dental Clinic Changes Lives One Smile at a Time

ATLANTA: The Ben Massell Dental Clinic (the Clinic), a service of Jewish Family and Career Services of Atlanta, is the oldest charitable healthcare clinic in the U.S. and the only free clinic of its kind in Atlanta.

The Clinic is made possible by the work of more than 150 volunteer dentists. It is the only resource for comprehensive, quality dental care available at no cost to those that qualify, and who cannot otherwise access care.

The Ben Massell Dental Clinic is doing amazing work serving more than 3,000 individuals last year alone, said JF&CS CEO, Terri Bonoff. But there is an incredible demand for these services, specifically for increasing access to the clinic with weekend and evening hours for those who otherwise utilize emergency rooms. We need more resources, money and volunteer dentists to make that happen.

Volunteer dentists and hygienists from some of the best dental offices across Atlanta spend half a day a month at the Clinic, donating their time and services to grateful patients. The Clinic has generations of volunteers whose children and grandchildren followed in their footsteps both in dentistry and in volunteering to provide care to those who need it. The Clinic is funded by donations from private donors, foundations, and the United Way of Greater Atlanta.

Since 1911, the Clinic has been committed to helping people have a better quality of life. Services offered include exams, x-rays, cleanings, fillings, extractions, root canals, gum therapy, dentures, and crowns. The Clinic provides over 20,000 procedures a year, offering the community an estimated market value of $4M in free care. The Clinic also provides crucial assistance for those experiencing poverty, homelessness and/or drug abuse. Through its partners, such as Mercy Care and The Lighthouse, the Clinic offers access to health screenings and care for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, eye exams and glasses. In addition, the Clinic offers mental health therapy on-site and refers patients to other JF&CS services.

Every day, local emergency rooms see dozens of non-critical patients complaining of oral pain. The Clinic helps fulfill a large need, but there is so much more we can do. With additional funding, more volunteer dentists and more corporate sponsors we could reach many more patients that are in pain, said Keith Kirshner, Managing Director of the Clinic.

As a premier teaching facility, the Clinic serves as one of the most advanced dental training centers in the country for those entering dental careers. It is one of the top five charity dental clinics in the nation, and embodies a living showroom with the latest equipment and supplies. The Clinic relies on generous corporate sponsors to donate top-quality equipment. In return, that equipment is seen and used by the volunteer dentists and emerging dental professionals, and often they bring it into their own offices after using them at the Clinic.

We are a national model, and have helped other clinics grow all around the U.S., including two in Canada. Access to quality dental care is critical to achieving and maintaining overall wellness, yet it's not covered by the ACA, Medicaid, or Medicare. It's also difficult for our veterans to access care. That's why Atlanta needs a place like Ben Massell Dental Clinic. It's truly a vital resource to thousands in our community, said Kirshner.

For more information or to support the Ben Massell Dental Clinic, visit http//www.jfcsatl.org/bmdc

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Ben Massell Dental Clinic Changes Lives One Smile at a Time


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