MACHIAS, Maine — The Washington County Children’s Program is bringing free dental and oral health care services to families in Maine, particularly to schoolchildren who otherwise would have no access to care.
For a full week next month, the “Tooth Ferry” mobile dental lab will be parked in downtown Machias to provide oral health care education, screening and treatment at no cost for area residents.
“The Dental Outreach Program is another example of how WCCP identifies a need and responds by working with others to meet that need,” Elaine Cale, WCCP’s executive director, said Wednesday.
Cale said that the Tooth Ferry program established by WCCP has been able to help educate Washington County children about proper oral hygiene but has been unable to provide additional services.
WCCP has partnered with the New York University College of Dentistry for the services, and NYU faculty and students have agreed to return to the area twice a year for the next two years. The next visit will be in April 2011.
The program will provide comprehensive dental care, including examinations, cleanings, fluoride varnish applications, sealants, fillings and extractions, for children and adults who do not have access to dental services.
The clinic will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 4-6 and Oct. 8 and 9, at the Lee Pellon Event Center behind the Subway complex on U.S. Route 1.
Students will be bused from their schools for the services.
All other community residents, adults and children, may visit the clinic as walk-ins during clinic hours. No appointments are necessary. MaineCare-eligible families can be reimbursed 21 cents a mile for driving to and from the program.
Participating dental team volunteers include NYU faculty, dental students, dental hygienists and postgraduate residents specializing in pediatric dentistry, oral surgery and endodontics.
NYU has provided similar services for more than 15 years and graduates 350 dentists a year.
With funding from Delta Dental Plan of Maine, NYU has collaborated on the Machias service with WCCP, Caring Hands of Maine, Child and Family Opportunities, and the Maine Board of Dental Examiners.
For more information, call Teresa Alley at 255-3426.