We Restore Lives, One Tooth at a Time
The Blue Ridge Free Dental Clinic delivers high-quality emergency, restorative and preventative dental care to people who cannot otherwise afford these critically needed services. We restore lives—one tooth at a time. Since its beginning in 2005, the Clinic has performed over 65,000 procedures over 19,270 patient visits with a value exceeding $10 million dollars. A comprehensive care model is simply not available to poor residents of Western North Carolina without the Free Dental Clinic.
Our goals in treatment are to:
- Eliminate pain and infection through emergency care.
- Rehabilitate patient’s oral health through restorative procedures and hygiene.
- Empower patients to continue with preventative oral health beyond their treatment with the clinic.
The Clinic's goals today and over the next three years are to:
- Increase access to comprehensive dental care to low-income residents of rural WNC including emergency, restorative and preventative care.
- Provide dental health education and outreach to students and residents of all ages in rural WNC to promote the importance of dental health and to break the generational cycle of dental disease in this region.
Our Gala is a No-Show But We Still Need Your Support!
Please consider a donation to the Free Dental Clinic equal to or greater than what you might usually donate at a Gala fundraiser. 100% of your gift will be matched and 100% will go directly to helping people smile again.
During the worldwide health crisis, the Clinic is doing its part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our mountain communities. We postponed all elective procedures (including restorative fillings and cleanings) as of March 12, 2020 and decided to concentrate on emergency dental care. Doing so allowed us to care for the community's urgent dental needs and alleviate the burden that dental emergencies place on our hospitals. We anticipate the need for emergency care to increase as unemployment and loss of insurance coverage will affect many in our region.
Our current clinical staff consists of Dr. Michelle McDonald, Staff Dentist; Michele Coward, Clinical Director; Dawn Ferrin, Dental Assistant; Jonah Caplinger, Dental Assistant; and, Col. Robert Cahill, Reception and Triage. This small team has treated more than 250 patients in-clinic, performed 432 emergency procedures, and conducted 63 teledentistry conferences between March 12-July 31, 2020—at no cost to the patient. That's 313 patients who might have otherwise sought treatment at one of our emergency departments!
It is our hope that with support from our community and local funders, we will be able care for emergency patients now and fully resume our restorative and preventative dental care with a full team of staff and volunteer dentists within 12 months. That process has begun!
Blue Ridge Mountains Health Project, Inc. is a registered not-for-profit organization with federal 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. All donations are tax deductible.
Quick Facts About Our Clinic
- The Clinic is the only absolutely free Dental Clinic in Western North Carolina that focuses on restorative and preventative dental care.
- Our 13 volunteer dentists are fully licensed and provide all their professional services free of charge.
The Clinic is supported by the generous donations of local churches, foundations, and caring individuals.
- During 2019:
- The Clinic completed 5,623 procedures for 726 patients.
- Services included 1,338 extractions, 1,289 fillings, 500 cleanings, 82 dentures/partials and crowns, 14 root canals and 91 surgical procedures, with a market value of nearly $1,100,000.