Free dental cleaning day brings out smiles in Carbondale - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Free dental cleaning day brings out smiles in Carbondale



Cuts to Medicaid in Illinois mean patients won't get help paying for dental work unless it's an emergency.

That's why a large number of folks opened wide Friday at SIU's second annual "Give adults a smile day."

Dental hygienist students from SIU and John A. Logan College along with volunteer dentists and professional hygienists spent the day offering free dental exams, X-rays, and teeth cleanings to folks who wouldn't be able to afford it otherwise.

Organizers say last year it was only the uninsured showing up for a check-up. This year, a lot of Medicaid patients came in as well.

"It's been severely cut," said Jennifer Sherry, president of Southern Illinois Dental Hygienists Society. "There's a lot of services taken out in the state of Illinois. So anything we can do to help serve those patients is going to be very beneficial."

Last year, "Give adults a smile day" only served 51 patients. This year ,there were more than 80 scheduled appointments with more smiles in waiting hoping for help.

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