Homeless Utahns will be able to get dental care at a clinic in downtown Salt Lake City thanks to a gift from a local business. Alsco, a linen and uniform rental company has agreed to provide 125,000 dollars a year for five years to fund a full-time dentist at the Fourth Street Clinic. KUER’s Andrea Smardon reports that there is a pent up demand for dental services among the homeless and low-income populations.
Looking at the brand new dental chairs at Fourth Street Clinic, Russell Flowers breaks into a smile, revealing some missing teeth.
The Utah Department of Health released new data Wednesday estimating that more than 13 percent of the population went without health insurance last year. That’s about 3 percentage points higher than the previous year, but health officials say the increase is at least partly due to improved survey methods.
UDOH spokesperson Tom Hudachko says you can’t make a fair comparison between numbers in 2010 and 2011 because state survey methods were changed significantly. For example, pollsters are now calling cellphones instead of just land lines.