A new dental service, Aspen Dental, is constructing an office at the northeast corner of 20th Street and Range Line Road, closing yet another gap in the tornado zone.

This will be the fourth dental service to set up shop on Range Line since the 2011 tornado.

Aspen Dental offers full and partial dentures, comprehensive exams, hygiene services, treatment of periodontal disease, extractions, fillings, oral surgery, whitening, and crown and bridge work. The office also will offer digital radiography and offers advanced screening for oral cancer.

Aspen Dental is one of the largest and fastest-growing networks of independent dental care providers in the United States, with more than 450 practices in communities across 28 states. In 2013, Aspen Dental practices saw nearly 2.9 million patient visits. The Joplin office will be among the first to open in Missouri. The first location opened on Dec. 22 at Bridgeton.

Ever wondered about the economic impact of a dental service office?

According to a study conducted in 2013 by the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, each new Aspen Dental office supports local community growth by contributing more than $1.3 million in positive economic impact through job creation and capital investment. The local community benefits through investment in office construction, furniture and fixtures, jobs created and wages and benefits paid, taxes, and investment in marketing and advertising.

Dental services also are provided by Uncommon Orthodontics at 2330 S. Range Line Road; Dentures and Dental Services in the Bel Aire Shopping Center at 20th Street and Range Line Road, and My Dentist, 1411 S. Range Line Road. These services offer a variety of specialties related to dental health.

When combined, that's a lot of economic impact on Range Line.

New clinic at Stone's Corner

Professional Urgent Care, an independently-owned clinic, has opened in a storefront at Stone's Corner Plaza. The collaborating physician is Dr. John Paulson, who will work with nurse practitioners.

Going to Professional Urgent Care would be like going to a clinic operated by a local hospital. It offers the same or similar services for coughs and colds, rashes and minor injuries, along with diagnostic X-rays. Flu shots and physicals will be available. No appointment is necessary.

The goal of Professional Urgent Care is to provide the best service with the least amount of waiting time. Almost all insurance will be accepted, including Medicare. Medicaid is not accepted.

Hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.

The clinic is next door to Stone Corner's Pharmacy.

JOMO Restaurant Week

If you participated in the first JOMO Restaurant Week two weeks ago, there's a woman at the Crosslines food pantry who would like to thank you.

"It was fabulous,'' said Kathy Lewis, executive director of Crosslines, 131 S. High Ave. "This will provide at least two weeks of food.''

Twenty locally-owned restaurants participated in JOMO Restaurant Week by offering daily specials in exchange for a donation of a nonperishable food item. The donation could entitle the donor to a coupon, a discount, or a free dessert or salad.

The effort produced $214 in donations and 2,668 pounds of food.

Crosslines is supported by 62 local churches. It provides food to 800 to 1,000 families per month.

Wally Kennedy is a reporter and columnist for The Joplin Globe.

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