Meharry opens Mobile Dental Clinic

(l-r) Veronica T. Mallett, M.D., MMM Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean, School of Medicine; Cherae M. Farmer-Dixon, D.D.S., M.S.P.H. Dean, School of Dentistry; James E.K. Hildreth, Ph.D., M.D. Meharry President and Chief Executive Officer; and Dr. Nelson L. Adams III Chairman, Board of Trustees cut ribbon on Meharry’s new mobile dental clinic. (photo by Marcus Jones)

The world and technology are changing every day. Things like leaving your home to pay bills or going to the store for groceries are becoming things of the past. Now, you can even get dental procedures done in your front yard.

On Feb 9, Meharry Medical College revealed a new Dental Mobile Service. James E.K. Hildreth, M.D., president of Meharry Medical College said he is proud to offer this service to the entire state of Tennessee.

“The mobile unit will allow Meharry to be able to get to counties throughout Tennessee that do not have a dentist that can provide services. Having the shame and misfortune of not being able to access dental care is no more. Meharry Medical College is about eliminating health disparities and achieving health equity,” said Chera Farmer Dixon, Dean and Professor of Dentistry at Meharry Medical College.

The vision of the mobile unit took a lot of dedicated people believing this could happen to make it possible.

“Our long standing relationship with the United Methodist Church gave us the opportunity to write a grant and get it secured. The second phase was talking with the Elgin Foundation. They already had a mobile unit available. They paid $750,000 for it, and sold it to Meharry for a fraction of that cost. Their vision was parallel to Meharry’s vision. It gave Meharry the opportunity to expand where they were only able to serve one patient to serving four at one time.

Now they will be able to do all services in the mobile unit that you could do in a dental office. This is a Dental Clinic on wheels,” said Dixon.
Bishop Walker said Meharry is committed to the health of people.

“Future plans are to have a mobile unit, not just for dental but for medical services where you will be able to do anything that’s done in the hospital,” said Walker.

“Making sure we do not leave any human behind that needs dental service is our goal,” said the dean.

The Mobile Dental Clinic will be able to get to rural areas that don’t have access to dentists. Third-year students at Meharry School of Dentistry will staff the mobile clinic, along with faculty oversight. It will be fully equipped with four dental chairs, a portable x-ray machine and office space.

For more information on Meharry’s School of Dentistry, visit www.mmc.edu.

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