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More Smiles

In this photo from April 2017, Jodi Manske, then a dental hygienist with the Madison Dental Initiative, now known as More Smiles Wisconsin, works with dentist Peter Hill in the background. 

More Smiles Wisconsin, which has had a free dental clinic at the Salvation Army on Madison’s Near East Side since 2009, will open a second clinic this month at the Boys and Girls Club in Fitchburg.

More Smiles, a nonprofit formerly known as the Madison Dental Initiative, hopes to raise $50,000 to open a third clinic on Madison’s North Side.

“The need is tremendous,” said Jeff Okazaki, executive director of More Smiles, who said an estimated 60,000 people on Medicaid or without insurance in Dane County have no regular access to a dentist.

“There’s a city within a city of people who are in need of dental care,” Okazaki said.

The three-chair clinic at the Boys and Girls Club’s Allied Family Center, expected to open the third or fourth week of January, will specialize in pediatric care. But it will take patients of all ages, whether or not they are members of the Boys and Girls Club.

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The clinic will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and on Saturdays. People can call 608-665-2752 now to put their names on a list for appointments.

It will be staffed by Dr. Neema Jahdi, a dentist, and dental hygienist Chelsey Kilmer, with volunteer providers also offering care.

The clinic is supported by a $160,000 grant from Delta Dental, $66,000 from the Boys and Girls Club, $25,000 from the City of Madison and roughly $25,000 raised by More Smiles.

More Smiles hopes to raise enough money to open a four-chair clinic near Warner Park in space offered by an existing dentist and orthodontist practice, Okazaki said.

Familia Dental, a for-profit company based in Schaumburg, Illinois, opened a clinic that primarily treats Medicaid patients on Madison’s West Side in September. The company opened a similar clinic on the East Side in September 2016.

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