Your First Dental Appointment
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Your First Appointment with the Allan Saxe Dental Clinic
This page provides some answers to commonly asked questions: 1) What are the qualifications to get into the Clinic; 2) How do I make my first appointment? 3) Why is it so hard to get in to the Clinic? 4) How has the process changed through the years?
New patient qualifications
- New patients must have current proof of residency in Kennedale, Arlington or Mansfield;
- New patients must have proof of income such as a food stamp card, John Peter Smith card, school free or reduced lunch paperwork or a check stub, etc.
- As with every ministry at Mission Arlington®, there is no charge for services provided by the Saxe Dental Clinic.
- Please come anticipating that you will be staying for most of the morning.
Making my first appointment
- If desiring to be a new patient, call 817-860-4474 at 8:30 a.m. on the first Monday of the month to obtain an appointment for that month;
- Once all the new patient appointments are scheduled, the recorded message will indicate that we are full;
- Because of the high volume of calls, many people do not receive an appointment to see our dentist. If you do not receive an appointment through this process, please try again next month;
- Changes in the dates for the appointment process can happen from time to time, so please pay attention to our website for any announcements;
- Once you make your first appointment, then you become a patient of the clinic. The clinic staff will assist you with the process of making a second appointment.
Why is it so difficult to get in?
This is a good question, and an important one. The short answer is that demand exceeds supply. Simply put, despite more than 50 dentists, hygienists, and other volunteers who serve each month, and despite the large number of patients we are able to treat, the number who need help each month exceeds our ability to provide care.
First, please pray with us for the number of volunteer dentists and other personnel to continue growing. Second, be an advocate for the Clinic wherever you can. Finally, if you are in the medical profession and interested in helping out, call Debbie at 817-704-6141.
How has the process changed over time?
- “First Come-First Serve“ When the Dental Clinic began in 1993, our process was very different. People could get in to see the dentist on a “first come-first serve basis.” As time went on, this process became very difficult. People would wait in line all day without getting in, and frustration levels were high all-around.
- Everyone Receives an Appointment At that point, we changed our approach: everyone received an appointment. When people came in for help through our “front room” People would sign up in our front room. They would have an appointment, and everyone would feel good. This worked for a while, but the intense volume of need meant that waiting times could be as long as two and 1/2 years (2.5) to get in. Young moms with children would come to the mission, and we were telling that they could see a dentist, but that might be years away. We knew we had to change our process.
- Our Current Process:
- First Monday Phone Calls: Receiving your first appointment to see a dentist at Mission Arlington® begins with a phone call. Because of the strong volunteer base, we are able to accept a strong number of new patients each month. Unfortunately (and this is very difficult for everyone) the need for care far outnumbers our ability to provide. We take as many new patients as we can each month, but the appointments fill up quickly, and many are not able to receive an appointment.
- A two-tiered approach: Once a person receives their first appointment to the clinic, their long wait is over. For their subsequent visits, they call the Dental Clinic voicemail (817-277-6620 x 3010) to make their next appointment, or they are given their next appointment at check-out.