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clinic front doorWDBJ7 News visited Commonwealth Dental Clinic recently resulting in the segment that follows.  To watch the video please click on the link below.

A new dental clinic in downtown Roanoke aims to provide adult Medicaid and reduced fee dental care for the under served population in the area.

Those at Commonwealth Dental Clinic say funding for low-income dental care is dwindling. They’re hoping partnerships with public advocacy groups and care providers will help reach those in the community who can’t pay to maintain their dental health.

“We could work full time, every day, around the clock and there would be people who need dentistry but just can’t afford it,” dentist, Dr. David Black of Healthy Roanoke Valley told Your Hometown News Leader.

That seems daunting, but dentists like Dr. Gregory Harvey, President of Commonwealth Dental Care, says he’s dedicated to providing that service to as many people as he can.

“We’re filling a void by helping those people who aren’t able to get regular care but be able to take care of their emergent situations,” Harvey, Commonwealth Dental Clinic President, told WDBJ7.


Commonwealth Dental Clinic located at 1121 S. Jefferson Street in Roanoke, VA is now open and receiving patients.  Conveniently situated between downtown Roanoke and Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Commonwealth Dental Clinic has easy access and ample parking.  The facility was fully renovated and has been equipped with state of the art technology and equipment.

The clinic currently provides Dental Medicaid services including comprehensive and emergency exams, digital x-rays, extractions, and infection control.  Low cost dentures are also available, but not covered by Medicaid.  These services are also available to non-Medicaid patients at significantly reduced fees.  The clinic plans to add Orthodontics services for Medicaid patients very soon.

Dr. Greg Harvey, Dr. Tom Gallaher and the staff of Commonwealth Dental Clinic welcome you to call, stop by the clinic or send a message via the website, , if you have any questions or require further information.  By streamlining treatment authorizations, building awareness for care, and working to reduce costs, Commonwealth Dental Clinic’s mission is to see more patients and offer quality care in an efficient manner.

Roanoke Va Medicaid Dentist

Dr Greg Harvey

“The success of Commonwealth Dental Clinic will rest upon the shoulders of our experienced, well-trained, and caring team, and the relationship we can build with the community” says Dr. Greg Harvey.  “We are thankful for all the support and encouragement we’ve received while working on this project, and look forward to providing these services to our community.”

It is estimated that more than 33,000 adults in Roanoke City alone do not have access to dental care because of financial reasons, and rely on charity or Medicaid for their dental care.  Commonwealth Dental Clinic seeks to fill this void by providing professional dental care in a convenient and comfortable setting.

The clinic has expanded hours of operation and is open Tuesday thru Friday, 8 – 5.  Appointments can be made by calling 540-865-0028.

Medicaid Dentist Roanoke VaCommonwealth Dental Clinic, a new dental office designed to fill a surprisingly large void in dental care, will be opening in Roanoke on Friday April 18th.  Over 33,000 adults in Roanoke City alone do not have access to dental care because of financial reasons, and rely on charity or Medicaid for their dental care. (US Census Bureau 2008-2010, Roanoke Valley Community Health Needs Assessment 2012).

Often times, patients must travel out of town or wait long periods of time in pain and poor dental health before they can find someone to help them.  Charity clinics and hospital systems are heavily relied upon, but cannot come close to keeping pace. The number of private practices serving this community need is very limited.

Conceived by Dr. Greg Harvey and Josh Nelson of Blue Ridge Dental Group, Commonwealth Dental Clinic will seek to fill this void in care.  “Our offices frequently field calls from patients asking if we provide Medicaid services, and we’ve always had to apologize and say no.  We didn’t even know who or where to refer them to” says Josh Nelson, VP/GM of Blue Ridge Dental Group.  Dr. Harvey and Mr. Nelson determined that a financially sustainable clinic (requiring no government grants or volunteer work) was a viable option.  Mr. Gary Helton, formerly of Carilion’s Dental Clinic, has since joined the leadership team to manage the clinic.


The clinic plans to be open Tuesday thru Friday, 8 – 5.  Appointments can be made by calling 540-685-0028.

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Roanoke Medicaid DentistAre you in the category of people who don’t believe regular flossing is important?  Imagine your teeth are like boxes stacked up against each other.  Two sides show while two sides are against each other.  Now imagine how well a tooth brush can clean the two sides of your teeth that are against one another.  Not very well, right?

Brushing alone simply isn’t enough to reach the plaque from the inside surface between your teeth. The interproximal areas or places between your teeth and below the gum line are two spots where the toothbrush simply can’t reach and food particles get stuck, becoming a perfect growth environment for plaque.  These are the places where cavities are also likely to develop.  Once plaque hardens, it has to be removed at the dentist’s office.  Daily flossing can help clean out the plaque before it completely hardens, keeping your teeth healthier, looking better and eliminating a major cause of bad breath.  Like we say at the office, “You only need to floss the ones that you want to keep!”  

Dental floss looks like thread, usually made of inorganic material such as nylon.  Dental floss comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes including waxed, non-waxed, flat, round and textured, with baking soda and sometimes fluoride.  So when flossing, find one that you like.  

Dental floss usually comes on a roll in a plastic container.  Pull off a couple of feet of floss, it’s cheap and it makes the job much easier.  Next, wind one end around your index finger a couple of times.  The trick here is to wind it around enough that you can pull the long end and it won’t slip off your finger.  Now grasp the long end, wrap it once or twice around your other index finger leaving about 1-2 inches of floss between both fingers and you are ready to go..  

Roanoke Medicaid DentistSimply open your mouth, place one finger against the 1-2 inch piece of floss and push between two teeth.  When just starting out, use any teeth that you’re comfortable reaching.  Now once the floss is between your teeth, pull it against one tooth and move it up and down between the teeth then do the other tooth surface.  

Finally pull the dental floss out from between those two teeth. You might feel a little tug and a snap as the floss frees itself from between the two teeth.  Next, wrap another two inches of floss around your index finger, grab the long end again with another inch or two of clean dental floss and you’re ready for the next two teeth.  Repeat until you clean between all of them.  Flossing leaves your mouth feeling clean and fresh without the need to artificial breath fresheners.

If done right with healthy teeth and gums, flossing will not by itself cause your mouth or gums to bleed.  Bleeding can happen however if you accidentally push the floss into your gums to hard.  Not to worry though, a quick rinse with cold water will usually take care of everything.  

If you need more information on flossing, are experiencing tooth pain or have general questions about oral health and hygiene, please contact our office at (540) 685-0028.  Commonwealth Dental Clinic specializes in Medicaid and Self-Pay Dental Patients and is conveniently located near downtown Roanoke.  You can also reach us on the web at

Roanoke Medicaid DentistOur teeth are not exempt from the realities of aging.  In fact, as we age our teeth become worn and dull.  The best way to limit the dull look is to take control and develop a consistent oral hygiene regimen.  Brushing your teeth regularly with a quality, soft-bristle toothbrush and using dental floss will go a long way towards ensuring a healthy and clean mouth.

Over time and through use, the protective enamel or outer coating of our teeth becomes worn.  Unfortunately, this wearing away of the enamel also creates small ridges where food and beverages can cause decay and discolor our teeth.  You can decrease your chances of having tooth decay by cleaning your teeth on a regular basis. Chronic gingivitis (bleeding gum disease)  will heal as long as you are able to keep plaque under control.  The buildup and retention of plaque can be much more of a challenge for some people.

Your diet is one of the numerous contributing factors to plaque.  Eating and drinking items that are high in sugar content can have an impact on oral hygiene.  Good oral care requires a proper brushing of your teeth at least twice and preferably three times a day.  Dental care professionals recommend brushing after every meal or snack.  

Roanoke Medicaid DentistIt’s also important to remember to brush properly in order to remove plaque. The elderly and children often need to use utensils other than a simple toothbrush to do this. While plaque cannot be “prevented” necessarily, it can be controlled by simply brushing correctly and brushing often.  Those who struggle with plaque build-up may find that a sonic toothbrush or Waterpik may help.  While these type of instruments are effective at controlling plaque, they are typically quite a bit more expensive than a regular toothbrush.

There are a variety of home oral care tools from which to choose.  Individuals with hand eye coordination difficulties may benefit from a simple electric toothbrush.  These are also great for older folks who might have problems with holding their hand up to use a regular toothbrush.  Children are another group for which an electric toothbrush might boost the job of oral hygiene while also saving time.  Remember that there are a variety of tools that are used to clean hard to reach areas.  Dental floss comes in a variety of types such as waxed, non-waxed, flat, round and textured, with baking soda, with fluoride and flavored.  There are also dental floss holders. These items can be found at drug stores, grocery stores or through medical supply stores.

There are many benefits to brushing and flossing your teeth. First and foremost, you can help prevent tooth decay by this practice. Brushing and flossing also prevent gum disease, which is a primary agent in decaying and lost teeth.  Cleaning your teeth is not only a practice for the dental office, but more importantly also in your home. Good oral care helps contribute to your overall health and makes those occasional cleanings in your dental office go a lot smoother!

If you are experiencing tooth pain, bleeding gums or have concerns about your oral health, contact us at Commonwealth Dental Clinic conveniently located in downtown Roanoke, VA.  We are accepting new patients (adult & children) Monday through Saturday and specialize in Medicaid and Self-Pay dental services including exams, extractions and x-rays.  We can be reached at (540) 685-0028 or you can find us on the web at