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Permanent link  Dental Crisis in DuPage County Worsens


Last month, the Chicago Tribune reported that DuPage Community Clinic would be closing its dental program at the end of June. An article published recently in the Daily Herald suggests that DuPage County Health Department was working on ways to accommodate a surge in new dental patients.

But for Chicago Dental Society, concerns remain about how the low-income residents of DuPage County will access needed dental care. CDS offers the following statement.

Chicago Dental Society, an association of dentists in the metro Chicago area, expresses concern that low-income residents will have few options for dental care after DuPage Community Clinic ends its dental care program.

The clinic treats approximately 1,500 patients a year and is one of the few in the metro Chicago area that can provide comprehensive dental care, such root canals and crowns, in addition to fillings, extractions and cleanings. According to clinic records, a team of 30 volunteer dentists provided $500,000 in care in 2010.

Plans to close the dental program on June 30, 2011, were announced last month.

CDS is very concerned about where these patients will go for care after the program ends. The only option in the county at this time is the DuPage County Health Department, whose staffing may not yet be able to handle such a huge influx of patients.

CDS calls upon the clinic to ensure that patients are transferred appropriately to ensure continuity of care and, if the clinic must close, that the dental equipment once used at the clinic be moved to another site where it can continue to be used. CDS also impresses upon county officials to allocate resources to help the Department of Health meet the dental needs of county residents.

Chicago Dental Society is an association of 4,000 dentists in Cook, Lake and DuPage Counties and advocate for improving oral health care for all. The society is the local affiliate of the American Dental Association and Illinois State Dental Society.