community vna

The sign outside Community VNA's building on Emory Street in Attleboro. (Staff photo by Martin Gavin)

ATTLEBORO — A free dental screening clinic for seniors is taking place Saturday.

The Elder Dental Program’s clinic will be held from 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Community VNA, 10 Emory St.

Seniors age 60 or over in Massachusetts may schedule an appointment at 774-203-1326.

Clinic participants will receive a dental screening exam and will have the opportunity to discuss the findings with the dentist in the clinic’s relaxed, friendly setting, organizers said.

Dentists from the area, including Dr. Donald Pierce of Attleboro Falls Family Dentistry, volunteer to examine patients for problems with their teeth, gums, and dentures.

Participants will also be screened for oral cancers and have the opportunity to receive free denture cleaning and labeling provided by students from the Massasoit Community College’s Dental Assisting program.

Students will also offer tips and answer questions about good oral hygiene. All students are under the supervision of their instructor as they participate in the screening clinic.

Nutritional information will be provided about food choices to those experiencing chewing problems, dry mouth, medication interactions, and other concerns.

During the screening participants can also learn more about the Elder Dental Program, which helps low-income seniors to access local dental services provided at reduced fees based on a sliding scale.

The Elder Dental Program of Community VNA in Attleboro seeks to reduce barriers to dental care by holding two free dental screening clinics per year.

“More than three-quarters of older adults in Massachusetts don’t have dental insurance,” said Pierce, a planning committee co-chairman. “Many of the seniors who attended the free screening clinic haven’t been to a dentist in a while, so they have concerns they want to discuss. At the screening clinic we take time to talk with them and answer their questions.”

The clinic has been underwritten by a grant from the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, HarborOne Foundation, Bank of Canton, Walpole Cooperative Bank, Rodman Ford Sales Charitable Trust, and is funded in part by a grant from Bristol Elder Services through contracts with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs.

For more information, contact Christine Weylman, Elder Dental Program Coordinator, at 774-203-1326 or email elderdental@communityvna.com.

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