The Ben Massell Dental Clinic (the Clinic), a service of Jewish Family & Career Services (JF&CS) of Atlanta, is the oldest charitable health care clinic in the U.S. and the only free clinic of its kind in Atlanta. It is the only resource for comprehensive, quality dental care available at no cost to those who qualify, and who cannot otherwise access care. During most years, the Clinic is made possible by the work of more than 150 volunteer dentists. However, since the pandemic, many dentists have not been available to volunteer.
“The Clinic is doing amazing work serving thousands of individuals in a state-of-the art, COVID-safe facility,” said JF&CS CEO, Terri Bonoff. “We are currently aggressively recruiting more dentists to meet the demand for services.”
Volunteer dentists and hygienists from some of the best dental offices across Atlanta spend half a day or one full day each month at the Clinic to manage the caseload. In a typical year, volunteers perform more than 17,500 dental procedures. The Clinic has generations of volunteers whose children and grandchildren followed in their footsteps both in dentistry and in volunteering to provide care to those who need it. It is funded by donations from private donors, foundations, and the United Way of Greater Atlanta.
“Ben Massell has worked hard to make the clinic as safe as possible. All staff wear full PPE, clean constantly, and use a cold fogger to destroy pathogens,” said Melissa DaSilva, Managing Director of the Ben Massell Dental Clinic.
“We are proud to offer the best equipment and infection control practices to ensure a safe environment for our generous volunteer dentists,” she said.
Since 1911, the Clinic has been committed to helping people have a better quality of life. Services offered include exams, x-rays, cleanings, fillings, extractions, root canals, gum therapy, dentures, and crowns. The Clinic also provides crucial assistance for those experiencing poverty, homelessness and/or drug abuse. Through its partners, such as Mercy Care and The Lighthouse, the Clinic offers access to health screenings and care for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, eye exams and glasses. In addition, the Clinic offers mental health therapy on-site and refers patients to other JF&CS services.
“It’s my duty to serve my community and give my time to those in need,” said volunteer dentist Dr. Jason Myerson, DMD. “The Ben Massell Dental Clinic provides an incredible up to date dental environment where I can comfortably provide the high quality of care to those most in need of my help. It’s a pleasure to be a part of this amazing team.”
As a premier teaching facility, the Clinic serves as one of the most advanced dental training centers in the country for those entering dental careers. It is one of the top five charity dental clinics in the nation and embodies a living showroom with the latest equipment and supplies. The Clinic relies on generous corporate sponsors to donate top-quality equipment. In return, that equipment is seen and used by the volunteer dentists and emerging dental professionals, and often they bring it into their own offices after using them at the Clinic.
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