Dental Clinic

75 patients of the Malta Dental and Medical Clinic in Detroit are getting their dentures — and with them, a new lease on life.

The word “dentures” may conjure up cartoon images of teeth soaking in a glass of water or a punch line from a corny joke. But to many of Metro Detroit’s uninsured poor, their need for dentures is no laughing matter, but a critical health issue.

Thanks to grants from the Jewish Fund and the Jewish Fund Teen Board, 75 patients of the Malta Dental and Medical Clinic in Detroit are getting their dentures — and with them, a new lease on life.

“We can change someone’s life with a set of properly-fitting dentures,” said Nancy Harmon, the clinic’s dental director. “Health, social life, employability — just about every marker of well-being improves dramatically. Patients come to the clinic too ashamed to even open their mouths, and they walk out beaming with a new smile.”

The grants, which total $25,000, make it possible for the Malta Clinic to provide dentures without cost to patients. The cost of dentures — anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars — poses an insurmountable barrier to the uninsured poor, explained Thomas Larabell, president of the Malta Clinic board of directors.

“It’s a time-consuming and expensive process to make dentures that fit well,” Larabell noted. “We are so grateful to the Jewish Fund board of directors and Teen Board for helping us meet this critical health need.” 

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