The Whiteside County Community Health Clinic consists of medical, behavioral health and dental clinics. The dental clinic was established in 2000 as a part of the health department with 1 dentist in 1 room. Now the dental clinic has 7 dentists in 10 dental suites and in 2017 saw 6,236 patients at 13,359 visits.
The Whiteside County Community Health Clinic (WCCHC) turns no one away, regardless of ability to pay, says Jana Meiners, clinic coordinator. The clinic provides full dental care including preventive and comprehensive dental treatment for children ages 20 and younger in a general practice setting. The clinic also provides basic services for adults, such as extractions and fillings. The dental clinic will see between 6 and 12 patients a day for emergency dental care.
“We work with Illinois Department of Public Health where our team goes into schools to provide sealants for children’s teeth,” Meiners says. “For children who don’t have a dental provider we refer them back to WCCHC dental clinic for their dental work.” Working with school nurses, the dental clinic’s dentists and assistants polish and clean teeth and do visual exams. “We place sealants on their permanent molars and if the doctor sees visual decay we send a note home to parents and offer our services if they’d like to come to our dental clinic.”
The dental clinic sealant program works with two dozen schools within a 60-mile radius, offering services to preschool, elementary and junior high students, as well as Head Start children.
WCCHC Dental Director, Dr. Monica Wilwert, states, “A person’s overall good health includes dental health which is crucial for good cardiac health, nutrition, a healthy pregnancy, and diabetes control. Dental health that starts at an early age will improve a person’s medical health throughout his/her lifespan.”
If a patient has no dental insurance he or she is welcome to provide proof of income in the form income tax statement or 2 recent paychecks to qualify for a sliding fee. “They can also sign a zero affidavit if they’re not working,” Meiners says. The clinic also accepts the Illinois Medical Card, and private insurances.
The dental clinic recently added more seating in its waiting room and expanded its front staff area to facilitate patient comfort and confidentiality. The dental clinic is a part of the Whiteside County Community Health Clinic located in Rock Falls, IL.