Tag Archives: UAB Dental School

Dental care can be a matter of life or death. Yet more than 100 million Americans either don’t have dental insurance or simply can’t afford to see a dentist. The result? Severe pain, preventable disease, humiliation, bankruptcy and sometimes even death.

The nonprofit Sarrell Dental Clinic has faced challenges since it was formed in 2005, but the recession does not appear to be one of them.

With the sluggish economy hurting private dental practices, the Anniston-based Sarrell is experiencing a boom in dentists looking for extra work, allowing the clinic to expand operations and continue its mission to serve more needy children around the state.

Children with toothaches, or who simply need a good, old-fashioned dental cleaning, don’t have time to fret over legislative compromises or professional posturing. They just need help.

A bill awaiting Gov. Robert Bentley’s signature could resolve a dispute between leaders of Alabama’s dental profession and a non-profit corporation that has quickly grown into a giant by providing teeth cleanings, fillings and other basic care for thousands of low-income Alabamians.

State lawmakers passed legislation Thursday clarifying the legal status of an Anniston-based nonprofit dental clinic that serves underprivileged children and ensuring it will be properly regulated… “The passage of our bill is a huge victory for the children of Alabama and Sarrell Dental,” said Jeffery Parker, CEO of Sarrell. “Our bill passed because of the overwhelming support of the citizens of our state, the fairness of our legislators and the approval of the silent majority of Alabama dentists. The passage of this bill will not change one single thing as far as how we operate our not for profit, clinically, organizationally or strategically.”

In Bessemer´s Dunbar Abrams community, right next to the community center in an old doctor´s building, something pretty wonderful is happening.

In October 2007 a dental clinic was opened to serve children ages 2-20 on Medicaid or ALL-KIDS insurance.