The Mobile Dental Clinic from Northwest Community Healthcare expanded its reach this month and now serves Schaumburg Township, which is a new funding partner with the hospital. The traveling dental services, provided free or at a greatly reduced cost, are a component of NCH’s community outreach and help improve the overall health of underserved residents in Elk Grove, Palatine, Schaumburg and Wheeling townships.
“We’re excited to be working with Schaumburg Township in order to bring such valuable services to a larger portion of our northwest suburban community,” said Nancy Colovos, dental program manager at NCH.
While tooth decay is the most common childhood disease, oral health affects more than a person’s teeth and gums. Dental problems may indicate a medical problem in the body. In fact, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and kidney disease may be detected in their early stages through an oral examination.
Mouth infections can cause health problems when oral bacteria travels through the bloodstream. Poor oral health also affects the digestive process, which begins with physical and chemical activities in the mouth.
“Research shows that advanced gum disease can be associated with cardiovascular disease, stroke and bacterial pneumonia, as well as increased risk for delivering preterm and low-birthweight babies,” Colovos said.
Launched in 2003, the NCH Mobile Dental Clinic is a 40-foot truck that has two fully equipped examination rooms, a reception room and sterilization area. The clinic is staffed by clinical director Dr. Ahmed El-Maghraby, bilingual dental assistant Yadira Coyoc, volunteer dentists and hygienists, and fourth-year students from the University of Illinois-Chicago College of Dentistry.
The Mobile Dental Clinic brings preventive and restorative oral health services to individuals and families who are without dental insurance and live at less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
While many dental clinics focus on treating emergencies, NCH’s program emphasizes overall oral health by establishing a dental home for patients while encouraging regular cleanings and exams. The Mobile Dental Clinic accommodates nearly 3,000 patient visits a year, with funding provided by the four townships, Chicago Dental Society, Illinois State Dental Society, Advantage Ambulance, and Walter and Edith Best Foundation.
For more details on the NCH Mobile Dental Clinic, visit nch.org and click “Community Services.”CLEAR SKIES?  Weather Data for Thursday, December 1st, 2011
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