Severe tooth decay often keeps inner-city people at home in severe pain, unable to stay focused at work and unable to afford standard dental care.
The Dr. Roy Dental Clinic is a joint effort between Hope for the Inner City and the Chattanooga Area Dental Society that serves low-income residents in greater Chattanooga. The clinic was renamed in 2009 for its late founder, a well-known local dentist.
Hundreds of desperate patients have left our clinic with reduced pain and new found hope:
With a professionally stocked dental facility, a full-time coordinator, and a growing pool of volunteer dentists and hygienists, the Dr. Roy Dental Clinic brings relief and hope to low-income patients from across Chattanooga.
Dr. William B. Roy, a well-known Chattanooga dentist, had a vision in the 1980s for a clinic that would serve low-income people with proper dental care and pain management, following several medical missions trips he took to Haiti. He soon realized that one doesn’t have to travel as far as Haiti to treat people in need.
In 1985, Dr. Roy, along with his colleague Dr. Martin Long, started a mercy dental clinic on Mitchell Avenue in what was then an economically depressed part of downtown. He stocked the clinic with equipment and supplies donated by retiring dentists. Additional support came from a number of local organizations. The clinic later moved to its present site on Roanoke Avenue, directly across from the Harriet Tubman Homes public housing development. Dr. Roy continued to volunteer at the clinic while maintaining his own private dental practice. For nearly 25 years, thousands of desperate patients have left the mercy dental clinic with reduced pain and newfound hope.
Dr. Roy’s gentle manner and empowering spirit ensured that everyone who visited the mercy dental clinic was not only relieved of their physical pain but also inspired by his engaging demeanor, remembers Paul A. Green, executive director of Hope for the Inner City, which houses the clinic.
Dr. Roy died in 2008, and the following year the clinic became a joint effort between Hope for the Inner City and the Chattanooga Area Dental Society. It was renamed the Dr. William Roy Mercy Dental Clinic.
“Severe tooth decay keeps so many inner-city people in severe pain. They can’t stay focused at work, and this puts their whole livelihood at stake,” said Allison Taylor, the dental clinic’s coordinator. “Dr. Roy knew that dental care was a critical investment in the economic wellbeing of the inner-city poor.”
With a professionally stocked dental facility, a full-time coordinator, and a growing pool of volunteer dentists and hygienists, the Dr. William Roy Mercy Dental Clinic continues its founder’s legacy of bringing relief and hope to low-income patients from across Chattanooga.
Low-income individuals and families in need of emergency care may apply in person Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fridays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.