Dental Care at JFS: The Who, What and How of the JFS DentalCare Program | September 12, 2018

Dental Care

By Colette Jesikiewicz

Jewish Family Service, in partnership with volunteer dentists from the Scranton District Dental Society and Fortis Institute, administers the Dental Care program which provides professional dental services to those who meet specific eligibility requirements. All treatments are provided in private dental offices, with initial examination and diagnosis at Fortis Institute Dental Hygiene Clinic, Scranton.

What is the Dental Care Program?

Preventive dental services provided at no cost are: exams, x-rays and cleanings. Restorative dentistry does require a minimal $10 office visit co-payment. Specialist treatment is provided by endodontists, periodontists, and oral surgeons. Anesthesia, surgical extractions, root canals and laboratory fees involving dentures, partials, crowns and bridge work are the financial responsibility of the patient but can be provided at a reduced fee upon application approval. We do not have dentists on staff; therefore, if immediate emergency care is needed and we are unable to assist you, we will refer you to an emergency room.

How do I Qualify for the Dental Care Program?

To qualify for our program you must be a resident of Lackawanna County for at least 6 months, be a US citizen or have proof of permanent legal status, not be enrolled in any creditable dental insurance plan or have the option to purchase a dental plan through your employer, meet income status based on US Poverty Guidelines and agree to our Patient Rights and Responsibilities, Terms and Conditions.

In order to apply for the Jewish Family Service Dental Care program you will need to complete and application and provide required documentation: copy of drivers license or other state issued photo identification, pay stubs for the past 2 months and/or W2, Social Security Notice, proof of all income, most recent tax return, proof of citizenship ie: birth certificate, passport, Certificate of Naturalization, and pay a $10 application fee. Application will be good for one year from date of approval.

What Happens If I Qualify?

Upon application approval, the first dental appointment will be scheduled at Fortis Institute Dental Hygiene Clinic in Scranton. A complete dental examination, full dental x-rays, dental cleaning and preliminary treatment plan will be provided. That preliminary treatment plan and x-rays will then be sent to Jewish Family Service and forwarded to a participating dentist from the Scranton District Dental Society. Once assigned to a dentist the client will have a “dental home” for their needs at a substantially reduced fee. Payment arrangements must be made with the dental office for non-covered services. If a client fails to keep their dental appointments they will be dismissed from our program.
We are able to provide this much needed dental care for the residents of Lackawanna County who “fall through the cracks” by making too much money to qualify for Medical Assistance but not enough to be able to pay for dental care.

Dental Care Testimonial from Joann Puchalski, Scranton, PA 

I was not satisfied with my previous dentist. When I asked the Cancer Society for assistance in finding another dentist they gave me five dentists to pick and I selected to go to Jewish Family Service.  At JFS I was greeted by Colette with a smile, kindness and a touch of love. When she told me I was approved for their dental program, I cried. I was finally going to get my teeth fixed at a price I could afford.

The oral surgeon, Dr. Justin Burns, was marvelous. He and his staff were kind and caring.  Dr. Darleen Oleski gave me a whole new smile. Absolutely beautiful and an unbelievable price!  I have no one else to thank but Jewish Family Service, Dr. Burns and Dr. Olenski for their heartwarming and caring service.