Adventist Health medical center in Tulare expands local dental care accessibility with newly offered dental services
TULARE – Adventist Health has opened the door to better accessibility in dental care by offering dental services at a medical office in Tulare.
On March 6, the office celebrated the expansion with a ceremonial ribbon cutting introducing the dental services at the Adventist Health Medical Office on 2059 N Hillman St. in Tulare. According to Renee Garcia, marketing account manager for the Adventist Health Central Valley Network, there is a great need for dental services in the city of Tulare and this expansion will help provide more of that care.
“Our goal is for rural health clinics to be able to provide medical care, behavioral health and dental care at our facilities, especially the ones that are more rural – and Tulare just has a dire need for dental services,” Garcia said. “This is an extreme opportunity to serve the community.”
The newly added dental services are an extension of the already-existing, 20,000-square-foot medical office and services will start on March 13. According to Garcia, dental services were always planned for the facility since it first opened its doors in 2019. However, it took a while to get staff hired, install equipment and follow necessary protocols.
Now, eight dental chairs and a treatment room are available at the facility to increase dental care access for Tulare residents and surrounding communities. Patients can go into the office for exams, fillings, cleanings, extractions, dentures etc. Additionally, Garcia said a benefit to the office is that residents can utilize same-day appointments, which will be offered on a first-come-first-serve basis; so patients can call early in the morning for any open slots available that day.
“It brings us great joy to continue expanding our services in communities that need it most,” Andrea Kofl, president of Adventist Health Central Valley Network, said via news release. “We are honored to serve Tulare and its outlying cities with this modern state of the art dental office, where people can receive a variety of quality healthcare services, all in one location.”
For now, the dental services will only be offered on Mondays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to Garcia. However, she confirmed the medical office plans to offer the services Monday through Friday once the demand for them becomes higher, which the medical office anticipated to happen within the four weeks.
With the newly added dental services, the medical office now offers 12 specialties, which also includes services like cardiology, orthopedics, chiropractic care, vascular care, psychology and podiatry amongst others. According to Adventist Health, this makes the office a convenient location for a multitude of medical services.
“Ultimately, the goal is to provide a holistic care experience,” Garcia said. “With behavioral health, psychology, dental, and medical care all under one roof. It’s a way to just fulfill that.”
According to Garcia, the part of the community these services are most geared towards are residents under Medi-Cal’s dental program. She said there has been a backlog of appointments for Medi-Cal patients looking for dental care, so right now, that is the only insurance that will be accepted by the Adventist Health Medical Office. Anyone that is uninsured is also welcome to seek out services at the facility.
Additionally, although dental services are needed greatly in Medi-Cal covered communities, Adventist Health system dental director Dr. Bijal Mehta confirmed that local children and elderly groups have a higher need for these services.
“Maintaining the highest standard of dental care will continue to be our utmost priority as we strive towards fulfilling our mission,” Dr. Mehta said via news release.
According to a press release from Adventist Health, the facility’s dentist Dr. Jerome Sy-Siong, DDS (doctor of dental surgery) is looking forward to welcoming new patients of all ages starting. Some feedback reported from one of his patients described him as a kind, welcoming man who is always concerned about patient health and who always explains his services in a way that is easy to grasp.