September 7, 2010; Source: Daily Tribune | Dr. Steve Wolf wants to give more people in Michigan something to smile about—literally and figuratively. The co-founder of the Adopt a Smile Dental Program of the Macomb-Oakland Regional Center (MORC), a nonprofit that serves some 5,500 people with disabilities, Wolf is leading an effort to recruit more volunteer dentists like himself to increase dental care for the group’s clients.
He says more dentists are needed to treat the many people who have been unable to afford dental care since Michigan cut its Medicaid budget in July 2009. “The Medicaid dental care budget cuts have been devastating,” said Wolf. “Many people are suffering and we, as dental professionals, need to help out.”
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A recent report from the Michigan Dental Association confirms his worries, showing that budget cuts are taking their toll on the health of children and adults alike. Left untreated, dental problems can lead to diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Wolf has put out a call for other dentists to provide free dental care, or even better—”adopt” a person with disabilities, especially those who haven’t been able to afford treatment for years. The Adopt a Smile program visits people with disabilities in their family, foster or group homes, as well as in schools.—Bruce Trachtenberg