Dental Clinic Offers Low-Cost Care to the Public

The Geisel-Morris Dental Clinic, primarily serving HIV and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) patients has been open since Nov. 2002.

On June 9, 2003 the Tarrant County AIDS Interfaith Network (TCAIN) clinic at 200 W. Magnolia Street #102 in Fort Worth, TX started its first day offering services to the general population.

When the new grant cycle began for the Ryan White grants which fund the clinic’s services to HIV positive individuals there wasn’t enough money to keep the clinic open full-time for HIV positive patients in 2003. Three days a week was the maximum the grants would pay for then.

The board of directors wanted the clinic to be able to generate funds on the days they were not serving HIV positive individuals as a way of keeping the staff full-time and paying the portion of expenses the grants could not pay (rent, utilities, phone; etc.). Without opening to the public the staff would have had to consider leasing the space out to make up these costs so TCAIN would not be absorbing them.

Staff and board had been approached by HIV positive people who had insurance or are financially able to pay for dental care but preferred to be seen by a dentist accustomed to caring for HIV infected patients.

“Opening the clinic up to receive insurance reimbursements, cash, or Medicaid offers the clinic additional clients as well as income to support the expenses,” said Beth Perry, former executive director of TCAIN.

Prices were made affordable for the community’s dental needs including a full set of x-rays, panoramic x-ray, emergency, comprehensive and periodic exams, simple and surgical extractions, root canals including molars, premolars, and anterior, fillings including silver and composite, porcelain to gold crowns, partials, dentures, and cleaning.

TCAIN plans to continue seeking private or federal funds to expand services now offered to HIV positive individuals to meet the overwhelming need, eliminate the waiting list of clients requesting care, and be able to help clients achieve good oral health.

Three years ago the dental staff had to handle oral health crises rather than maintenance. HIV positive people had gone without oral health care for so long it took clinic staff considerable time to handle problems before they were able to help clients maintain their oral health.

Appointments are assigned on a first come, first serve basis and cash, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover cards are accepted.
In 2003 the clinic started the process of contracting with a variety of insurance companies.

If a patient has insurance they should call the clinic and ask if they have been approved for that company.

For more information call 817-665-1323.

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