STCC offering free dental services for February and March
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A local college is offering free dental services to people in the community for the next two months.
“I feel that we’re here for a dual purpose. We’re here to educate. Our students were also here to provide treatment to the community that they may not be able to afford elsewhere,” said Meg Leadholt, chair of the Department of Dental Sciences at Springfield Technical Community College.
“We’re learning and helping at the same time, so it’s best of both worlds,” said STCC senior Alex Fuller.
In an effort to help their students gain experience and get patients in the door, STCC is offering free dental visits for February and March. These free services include both cleanings and x-rays. As the seniors in STCC’s dental hygiene program begin to close in on graduation and prepare for their board exams, associate professor and clinical coordinator Darlene O’Brien told Western Mass News that they’re in need of more patients to help the students fine tune their skills.
“They are really well prepared to treat patients, but they need to complete certain competencies and a certain number of patients in order for them to graduate,” O’Brien noted.
O’Brien told us the students are supervised by a licensed hygienist and use state-of-the-art technology.
“It’s just a fantastic resource for Springfield specially, for anyone who is experiencing issues with access to care due to finances,” O’Brien added.
“…And especially, we wanted to target groups of patients that may have been denied by their insurance for a deep cleaning because it’s a very costly procedure and they will be able to come here and have that procedure accomplished for free,” Loadholt explained.
Loadholt told Western Mass News that when it comes to dental cleanings, patients are treated by four sections or quadrants and in a typical dental practice, it can cost around $1,200 per quadrant. To put that in perspective, Loadholt told us this service can be worth over $5,000 and it’s being offered for free right on STCC’s campus.
For anyone skeptical about booking a visit, Fuller had this message.
“I know people are sometimes scared to come in or it’s been a couple years, but honestly, we have a really good time here and we are really dedicated to our patients and we can help anyway we can, so if they haven’t been in a couple years, that’s a huge benefit for us and a huge benefit of them because they’re going to get an entire cleaning and will be able to keep up with everything to,” Fuller said.
You can make an appointment by calling (413) 755-4900 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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