CCHC/HSHS St. John’s dental clinic expands to four days per week

Tulin P. Ozyurt, D.M.D., dentist, CCHC and Steven Kirk, dental clinic patient.

As the need for accessible dental care in Springfield rises, HSHS St. John’s Hospital and Central Counties Health Centers are honored to announce that their dental clinic, located on the ninth floor of St. John’s Hospital, is expanding emergency services from two days per week to four. The new hours are Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The clinic is accessible via referrals from the HSHS St. John’s emergency department, and offers dental exams, fillings and extractions for individuals of all ages.

The on-site dental clinic has been busy since the doors opened in October 2016. To date, more than 500 patients have been seen during more than 700 visits, resulting in 477 extractions and 82 surgical extractions.

Hospital officials believe that having a dental clinic located inside the hospital has made dental care much more attainable for individuals and families without a primary dentist. According to CCHC’s dental director, Dr. Mary-Margaret Looker, “Emergency room treatment is not usually appropriate for those with dental pain, but many people have nowhere else to turn. Those seeking dental care in the emergency room generally do not follow-up with a dentist because they don’t have insurance, they are on Medicaid and do not know where to go, or they just don’t have a dental provider, therefore ending up back in the ER a few weeks later with the same exact problem.”

The expansion was made possible by a federal oral health service expansion grant. For more information about the CCHC and HSHS St. John’s dental clinic, call 788-2300 or visit

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