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Dental services a part of center's approach to care for whole person

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Rutherford Health Center, a Blue Ridge Community Health Services site, has expanded its offerings to the community with new dental services.

"We've had people coming from as far away as Charlotte (to use dental services)," said Sandra McGriff, community liaison for the Center. "Just like with all our services, services are provided on a need-based sliding fee scale. We don't turn anyone away due to ability to pay."

While many people may have health insurance coverage, not all have dental or may not have a dental plan to cover all needs. The Center does accept most major insurances as well as Medicare and Medicaid.

Dental services include fillings, extractions, sealants, both deep and regular cleanings and root canals. Some basic oral surgeries can also be performed, said Susan Taunton, DMD.

"We can see the whole family, from about age 3 through adult," Taunton said. "We would welcome those younger than three if parents want to bring them in to have their teeth checked."

If you have an issue with your teeth and can't see your regular doctor, patients are seen on a walk-in basis.

Offering dental services fits well with Blue Ridge's belief that health care includes both the body and the mind as well as breaking down barriers to affordable health care for communities.

"The fact that close to 90 percent of all chronic illnesses begin in the mouth means dental providers are often the first to diagnose a health problem," said Dr. Richard Hudspeth, chief medical officer at BRCHS. "Access to dentistry in an integrated care model, like the one used at RHC and other BRCHS sites, is critical to improving the well-being of our communities. With medical, dental and behavioral health providers working out of a single location, we facilitate better communication and coordination between different providers which results in improved quality of care across the board."

Dental services are offered Tuesday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Medical and behavioral health services are offered Monday and Wednesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For appointments and information, call 828-288-2881.

Rutherford Health Center is located at 187 W. Main St, Spindale. BRCHS is a non-profit community health center that has been providing high quality and affordable medical, central and mental health care as well as promoting health awareness/education for more than 50 years.

For more information on the Center, visit www.brchs.com or www.facebook.com/BRCHS.

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