We Restore Lives, One Tooth at a Time
In 2003, a coalition of local churches recognized a dire need in our Appalachian community — the need for medical and dental care for those who cannot afford it. They pitched in and rented a medical/dental van for an intensive, three-day free clinic. At the end of those three days, hundreds of dental patients still had to be turned away, many in tears. Clearly, something more would have to be done.
Today, the dream of those founding churches has been realized in the form of the Blue Ridge Free Dental Clinic, now in a permanent location in Cashiers, North Carolina. The Clinic provides high quality restorative dental care to hundreds of needy patients each year from the surrounding tri-county area, many of whom have never seen the inside of a dentist’s office.
From the elderly couple who were gradually starving to death because they couldn't chew solid food, to the 52-year-old man who had suffered a dental-infection-induced heart attack and was so poor he was living in a tent, to the domestic violence victim who had most of her teeth kicked out by her abusive ex-husband, many patients arrive at the Clinic in crisis. Those same patients see the downward spiral of their lives reversed by the professional services and compassion we provide. They leave the Clinic not only in better dental health, but also extremely grateful for the chance to lead a normal life. Read some of their incredibly moving stories and the heartfelt thank you letters we receive from them.
The Blue Ridge Free Dental Clinic relies on the selfless dedication of volunteer dental professionals, staff and Board members, and the generous support of a caring community. Although we make the most of every dollar, there are many more people in desperate need of our services — please make a donation today and help us give someone less fortunate the life-changing gift of a healthy, pain-free smile.
Blue Ridge Mountains Health Project, Inc. is a registered not-for-profit organization with federal 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. All donations are tax deductible.
Quick Facts About Our Clinic
- The Clinic is the only source for low-income, uninsured persons to receive vital restorative dental care in a three-county area of Western North Carolina.
- Our dentists are fully licensed and provide all of their professional services free of charge.
- The Clinic is supported by the generous donations of local churches, foundations and caring individuals. We do not depend on government support for continuing operations.
- Each dollar donated translates into three dollars of dental services for our patients.
- Patients must provide proof of legal residency and income before any services are rendered.
- During 2013, the Clinic:
- Saw 372 new and 927 returning patients, for a total of 1,299 patient visits
- Treated 404 emergency patients
- Performed 4,406 procedures valued at over $558,000
- Maintained an average waiting list of 500
- Served patients with a median income of 90% of the federal poverty level