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Kansas Mission Of Mercy Helps Fill A Gaping Need For Dental Care


Nearly 400 dental professionals gathered in Salina this weekend to provide free dental care to those in need. Bryan Thompson has more on the 14th Kansas Mission of Mercy.

Salina orthodontist Cindy Reed says some of the 1,400 patients started lining up Wednesday afternoon—even though the free clinic didn’t begin until Friday morning.

“They’re very, very needy," Reed says. "They’re also very, very grateful.”

The advocacy group Oral Health Kansas surveyed patients as they were leaving. Executive Director Tanya Dorf Brunner says, for many, it’s the only way they can get dental care.

“People come because they don’t have any way to pay for dental services," he says. "They don’t have insurance, and so we’re trying to collect new data to see if that’s still the case. And, glancing at surveys people are filling out, that’s proving to be the case.”

Dorf Brunner says KanCare needs more than just bare-bones dental coverage for adults, and Medicaid expansion is needed so more of the working poor can take advantage of those benefits. I’m Bryan Thompson.