Children's Dental Clinic Opens in Charlottesville

By: Sarah Batista
By: Sarah Batista

September 26, 2005

A new dental clinic is giving parents and children something to smile about.

Janice Lini's son, John, is visiting the Community Children's Dental Center for the second time since it opened three weeks ago. Before the clinic opened, John used to trek over an hour to see a dentist in Richmond.

"From him not being able to go to the dentist and being able to be seen like he should've every few months, what happens was that his teeth got worse," said Lini.

Because Lini is disabled, John is on Medicaid, but finding a local dentist who accepted Medicaid and wasn't booked was almost impossible.

Now, thanks to the new dental center which is located in Charlottesville, John's long trips are over.

"It makes me feel better," said patient John Olswfski.

The clinic serves low-income children up to age 19 who are on Medicaid or Famis State Insurance. Dr. Shaunna Szabo says some of the patients they've seen so far were in bad shape.

"We've seen a lot of patients that haven't been seen before, some of them are 14, they've never been to a dentist, some of them are five and had a bad experience at the dentist," said Dr. Shaunna Szabo of the Community Children's Dental Center.

Lini says the new location is much more convenient and for her and John, having a dentist just around the corner who understands their situation has been a blessing.

"It's just a lot of stress lifted to know that they're here and it's just very nice," said Lini.

So far the clinic has received about $190,000 in grants. All of the dental chairs and some of the dental equipment were donated by local dentists. For more information or to make an appointment, call 434-293-9300.

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