Mobile dental care van off the road for now

Mobile Care, which serves over 5,000 children in more than 80 schools with dental care such as routine exams and teeth cleanings, lost its van to a fire this month.

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Mobile Care Chicago’s Dental Van was damaged by a fire in early October.

Mobile Care Chicago’s Dental Van was damaged by a fire in early October.

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Mobile Care Chicago’s Dental Van provides thousands of Chicago area students free dental treatment without leaving their school campus.

Now, that service is temporarily changing.

The van was gutted by a fire Oct. 2 at its South Side garage, 239 W. 18th St. A circuit malfunction sparked the blaze, said Matt Siemer, Mobile Care’s executive director. No injuries were reported, and an insurance claim was filed, he said.

The van can’t be salvaged, and it could take several months to replace it. “We’re trying to find creative ways to work around it,” Siemer said.

Mobile Care serves over 5,000 children in more than 80 schools to provide convenient access to vital dental care such as routine exams, teeth cleanings, restorative treatments and more. The Dental Van is staffed by a dentist, two dental assistants and a field coordinator.

Mobile Care sought to raise $5,500 in an online campaign to update its pop-up style portable dental clinic, which will set up at school campuses. The campaign, which has ended, raised about $2,000 more than its target goal.

Siemer said Mobile Care hopes to begin providing comprehensive dental care via its pop-up clinic by the end of next week.

“It’s such a big relief to be through that initial step and know that our patients’ dental needs will not be pushed off for months while we wait on the insurance adjudication process,” Siemer said.

Mobile Care Chicago will resume offering comprehensive care from the Dental Van once they get a new one.

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