PARRISH - Capstone Rural Health Center in Parrish has added dental care to its array of services.

A dentist, Dr. Aneesa Bone, started seeing patients on Sept. 28 at the clinic.

Amber Elswick, operations director for Capstone, explained that adding dental services at Capstone was part of the center's strategic plan.

"We decided to add dental because we know that a lot of the underserved population, whether they are uninsured or they have insurance, do not have dental coverage," Elswick said. "A lot of the Medicare and Medicaid insured do not have an affordable dental insurance option available to them, even if they have insurance. We saw that it was a need here in Walker County to be able to provide affordable dental care to all ages."

Cleanings, extractions, restorative care and other dental services are being provided at a discounted rate at Capstone. Uninsured patients can be seen starting at $45 for an exam, x-rays, or cleaning.

The total cost is dependent on income and the services being provided. Those with dental insurance can still utilize Capstone's dental services as well.

A normal dental cleaning and exam could cost anywhere from $150 to $350, according to Elswick, making Capstone's dental offerings much more affordable.

You do not have to be an existing Capstone patient to seek the center's dental services.

Bone will do exams on patients of any age, even as young as one-year-old.

All patients will get a full comprehensive exam and X-rays, as well as a plan of treatment.

"The patient will know what steps they need to take in order to achieve the goal that they want — to have that smile that they love," Bone said.

Currently, Capstone does not provide dental services for dentures, partials or root canals but may offer crowns in the near future.

Bone said it is important for people to maintain proper dental health and that they should not be afraid to seek treatment and begin routine cleanings.

"I think the first step is just coming to the dentist. A lot of times, people don't want to show their teeth and want to cover their faces, but we've seen everything so it doesn't scare us at all," Bone said. "We just love to really love on our patients and make them feel welcomed here. That's just unique to Capstone, in general, is that this whole entire environment is very welcoming to patients."

To schedule a dental appointment with Capstone, call 205-686-5113. Inquiries can also be made on the Capstone Rural Health Facebook page or by visiting www.capstoneclinic.org.

Capstone is currently offering dental care every Monday through Friday at the Parrish location.

In addition to promoting Capstone's new dental care option, Elswick said she wants patients to be aware of the assistance Capstone can provide the uninsured who are seeking medical coverage.

"If a patient doesn't have insurance and they are interested in seeing if they are eligible for any insurance, whether it's Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance, we do have our outreach team that is on-site at all of our clinics," she said. "They can help them with that, and it's actually open enrollment right now."

Capstone Rural Health serves patients in Parrish, Jasper, Nauvoo, Double Springs, and Arley; however, dental care is only offered in Parrish.