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15 Years Strong: Clinic Provides $720,853 in Free Dental Care Last Year

In 2016, HealthLink Dental Clinic provided $720,853 worth of dental care to low-income adults living in Bucks and Montgomery Counties at no cost to the patient. The clinic was visited by 1,779 adults for more than 2,660 appointments. At these appointments, eligible adults received care ranging from fillings (of which 1,534 were provided) to cleanings (1,084) to extractions (240) and even root canals (95) and crowns (11).

In 2001, HealthLink opened its doors to the community “bridging the gap” between those who qualified for Medical Assistance coverage and those who could afford health care coverage. While much has changed in the 15 years since then, the free clinic remained committed to meeting the unmet needs of its underserved adult neighbors.

2016 was the organization’s first full year officially known as HealthLink Dental Clinic. Having previously provided medical care on-site, HealthLink made the strategic decision in 2015 to focus exclusively on providing dental care after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the expansion of Medicaid, and the existence of two other free medical clinics in Bucks County meant that a dwindling number of adults in the community would require medical care.

Dental care, however, was left largely unaddressed, despite the lack of access in the clinic’s two county service area. In fact, according to the 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment of Abington Jefferson Health, more than one quarter (27%) of residents did not see a dentist in the last year. Those people living below 200% of the poverty level were 51% less likely than those above this level.