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Community Dental Care celebrates one year at Eastwood

October 10, 2018

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, in 2015, there were more than 33,000 people in Olmsted County enrolled in Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare. However, only about 30 percent of those people received any dental care.

That means about 23,000 people in Olmsted County had no dental care, said Crystal Yang, Community Dental Care’s development coordinator. Her organization is chipping away at that number, and wants to celebrate one year since opening its second location in Rochester.

Between mid-August 2017 and August 2018, the Eastwood clinic served 6,300 patients, Yang said. Nearly half of those were from Olmsted County, and most of the others were from the surrounding counties.

“We want to increase the access of people in Olmsted County,” Yang said. She pointed out that health issues like high blood pressure and heart disease can be linked to poor dental health, meaning people without access to good dental care can see adverse effects from that in other areas of their health.

It’s been a year since the Eastwood clinic opened, and the organization wants to show off its fully equipped building.

Almost 10 percent of CDC patients are uninsured, and 86 percent are on public programs.

Adding the Eastwood clinic allowed Community Dental Care to reduce wait times for new patients and hygiene appointments from seven months to three, Yang said. Wait times for doctor appointments went from three months to one.

And their momentum hasn’t slowed. Currently, the Eastwood clinic has 5,160 scheduled appointments that run through the first week of May 2019, Yang said.

Interested in a dental care career? There will also be a table with current Community Dental Care job opportunities.

“We have had some challenges in recruiting a workforce,” Yang said. “It’s a really competitive market right now, there are a lot of people hiring.”

The Eastwood clinic is currently recruiting for multiple positions.

Initially, the building was funded by the Delta Dental of MN Foundation, Otto Bremer Trust and the Mayo Clinic. In the past year, Yang said, additional grants from Delta Dental helped fully equip the new clinic.

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