Turning Points Expands Free Dental Clinic

DSC_9023 copy2 Turning Points Expands Free Dental Clinic

Turning Points Expands Free Dental Clinic with $50,000 Grant Provided by the Bradenton Kiwanis Foundation  

BRADENTON – Turning Points and the Bradenton Kiwanis held a room dedication / ribbon cutting ceremony today at the dental clinic at the Bill Galvano One Stop Center. Over 50 Kiwanians gathered in the cafeteria at Our Daily Bread for a wonderful lunch prepared by Pier 22. Dr. Little spoke to the group about the desperate need of dentistry in our community and how important their donation is. Dr. Tinsworth also spoke to the group and commended Dr. Little for his work in the community.

Turning Points Expands Free Dental Clinic

Following lunch everyone gathered into the dental clinic to cut the ribbon on the new dental operatory room dedicated to the Bradenton Kiwanis. Margi Dawson, the Director of Development at Turning Points, presented the Honorable Edward Nicholas, president of the Bradenton Kiwanis with a certificate of appreciation for everything that they do in the community. Judge Nicholas then cut the ribbon to the new dental room surrounded by Turning Points staff and the Bradenton Kiwanis Club.

There is a desperate need for access to dental care in Manatee County.  The cost of dentistry often prevents people from seeing a dentist because they just can’t afford it. Research confirms poor oral hygiene leads to poor overall health.  In addition, poor physical appearance due to tooth decay or tooth loss often results in low self- esteem and loss of self-confidence.  People in this situation struggle finding jobs, even companions and friends. Often clients come to the dental clinic at the Bill Galvano One Stop Center because they have been referred by private dentists or a hospital emergency room, since there is nowhere else to turn for help.

Turning Points Expands Free Dental Clinic

“We save lives at our clinic”, states Turning Points dentist, Dr. James Little. In addition to routine assistance that deals with periodontal disease or other oral health conditions, Dr. Little has assisted clients who suffer with terrible abscesses, a result of infections from a tooth that needed to be pulled.  Several clients have had to be admitted to the hospital with life threatening conditions!

The Kiwanis grant provided funding for a fully equipped new dental room, which not only enables Dr. Little to see more clients, but affords the opportunity to have two dentists working together.  Since the Kiwanis Foundation was formed in 1994, the organization has distributed more than $6,000,000 in our community including more than $2,000,000 in scholarships.

The staff and volunteers at the dental clinic in Turning Points performed $1,600,000 in free services to clients in desperate need last year. Since it was established in 2009, the clinic has performed almost $9,000,000 in free services to the uninsured and under insured residents of Manatee County. The dental clinic at Turning Points is a critical segment of the Manatee County healthcare community, providing free services unavailable elsewhere in our community.

About Turning Points

Turning Points and our Bill Galvano One Stop Center partners provide a remarkable variety of services designed to assist individuals and families on their path to financial stability and independence. Turning Points is the one stop shop for preventing and ending homelessness in our community. We provide day resource services (such as hot showers, laundry services, clothing, food), employment services, rental and utility assistance, veteran’s services (employment, housing and childcare), and free medical and dental care for the uninsured and under insured.  A total of 9,645 people received help last year with critical services targeted to the essential needs of people in crisis.  Turning Points can only provide this high standard of service because of our caring, compassionate volunteers and strong community support.

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