Oral health can affect overall health, but without the help of clinics like the Rehoboth Life Care Ministries Inc. Dental Clinic in Warner Robins, some patients cannot afford care.
“Many of our patients come directly from the emergency room,” said Yesmin Wilson, chairman of the board and executive director.
More than 30 percent of the procedures the clinic performs are tooth extractions. Last year, nearly 1,000 people were seen by the 12-15 volunteer dentists, who have performed more than 3,000 procedures.
“God has blessed me tremendously. This is a small way to pay it forward,” said Donald Benton, a general dentist from Macon.
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Benton has been volunteering for about three years and said he was referred to the clinic by his former dental hygienist Terry Horn, clinic director.
He praised the staff and wished more dentists knew how efficiently the clinic ran. He said he thinks more would volunteer their time if they knew how well organized the clinic was.
The clinic has six chairs between its two areas, a modified trailer and house.
Clinic days vary based on dentist availability. Between 10-12 volunteer hygienists and staff are needed during clinic hours.
In order to offset costs of the clinic, the fifth annual Charity Golf Classic will be held Aug. 19 from 8 a.m.-noon at Southern Hills Golf Course in Hawkinsville. Last year the tournament raised nearly $20,000 before expenses, but sponsorships and golf attendance are lower this year.
Wilson hoped that more people would decide to sign up to help this community clinic.
“This fundraiser helps undergird our mission so we can continue to provide low-cost services to the community,” Wilson said.
Some of the prizes and auction items at the tournament include paintings, golf bags, golf clubs, Hay House passes and an overnight visit to Atlanta at the Omni Hotel at the CNN Center.
The clinic uses a sliding income scale to determine eligibility for services. The clinic is available for residents in Houston, Peach, Taylor and Crawford counties.
For more information on the golf tournament contact Rachel Cox at 478-953-7770 or Rachel-RLCMdentalclinic@outlook.com.
For more information about the clinic, visit www.careforlifeclinic.com or call 478-953-7770.