Community Action Organization of Scioto County Dental Center
For many years, residents of Scioto County, an Appalachian county tucked in a crook of the Ohio River, knew they were in need of dental health care that did not include a day trip to Columbus every few months to have the family’s teeth cleaned. Even more challenging for these residents to endure was the long ride home with a woozy youngster in the back seat after an eventful afternoon spent at Nationwide Children’s Hospital having severe early childhood caries addressed with full mouth restoration under sedation. Many local adults have experienced significant tooth loss, an almost expected health outcome as one naturally aged in this region of the state.
This lack of proximate care and high levels of dental disease spurred the Community Action Organization of Scioto County to create the dental center in Portsmouth ten years ago whose mission would be to provide treatment that addressed the individual needs of the people in Scioto County. The start-up funding for the dental clinic was provided by a grant from the HealthPath Foundation of Ohio (formerly the Anthem Foundation). Over time, other funding sources have included the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council, the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Ohio Department of Health and the City of Portsmouth.
The dental clinic provides diagnostic, preventive, restorative and
emergency services to both children and adults. This includes affordable
dentures and partials, a mainstay of restoration for the grownups.
A recent success story involved a young lady, Deanna, who is employed
in reception at a local hotel. She took advantage of the clinic’s
sliding fee schedule to seek treatment and was able to be fitted
with an immediate denture. Six weeks later, her treatment complete,
she was all smiles when she greeted her guests. Additionally, the
clinic has recently engaged the services of Dr. Vinod Miriyala, a
pediatric dentist, who is employed every other Wednesday to treat
children with more pressing or complicated dental needs. He has established
a good rapport with both parent and child with the hope that treating
dental disease in early stages may help to insure that a young patient
attains adulthood with healthy teeth.
The dental staff includes two full time dentists, accompanied by capable and caring dental auxiliaries. Today the six chair facility rates high marks for up to date technology which includes digital radiography, and most recently, electronic health records (EHR). The transition to EHR has been time consuming and all encompassing for every aspect of treatment conducted for every patient of record. However, the results are measurable with access to accurate paper-free information with great speed and efficiency for all operations.
This beautiful and easily accessible clinic is located at 1112 Gallia Street in downtown Portsmouth. Clinic hours are Monday through Thursday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and Friday 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. They accept Medicaid, private insurance and private paying clients, and offer sliding fee payments for low-income patients. To make an appointment, patients should call 740-351-0880 or go to the clinic website at http://www.caosciotocounty.org.
The CAO Dental Center team envisions a day when all patients leave the center understanding how to care for their own dental needs.
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