(CBS4) – The Globeville community now has its first dental clinic. It is inside Clinica Tepeyac and was made possible by a grant from Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation.
Since it opened in October 2019, Maria Rangel can now afford to take care of her teeth for the first time in years.
“If anything bothers you, just raise your right hand up for me,” said Dr. Bridget Remming, the new part time dentist at the clinic.
Maria is in for about an hour of dental work. It is the second half of a deep cleaning below the gum line. Maria has periodontal disease. She is Spanish-speaking, so through a translator, she admits she hadn’t seen a dentist in a while.
“She has low resources and most of the dentists in the area they charge a lot of money,” explained translator and dental assistant Ailil Moron-Deshazer.
Maria has been coming to Clinica Tepeyac in Globeville for medical services. For 15 years, it has been serving mainly low income, Spanish-speaking residents of the Globeville Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods.
Maria was delighted when it added a dental clinic.
“She pays some money, but it’s just a portion of what the real cost is,” explained Moron-Deshazer.
The part time dentist, full time dental assistant and a room full of equipment have all been funded by a $124,114 grant from Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation.
“This commmunity has been traditionally underserved when it comes to providing dental health care,” said Adeeb Khan, executive director of the foundation.
“Our mission is about bringing oral health equity across the state of Colorado,” he explained.
Maria will now need to visit the clinic every three months for cleanings. But low cost and convenience make maintaining her oral health possible.
Clinica Tepeyac serves primarily Latinos with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level (~$49,200 for a family of four). 90% of their patient population is Spanish-speaking and 81% are ineligible for citizenship. Patients pay for services on a sliding scale fee thatâ€™s based on their income level.