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CCRI Dental Hygiene Clinic offering
free cleanings this spring semester
March 1, 2013
Rhode Islanders can receive a free teeth cleaning and oral health examination during the Spring 2013 semester at the Community College of Rhode Island’s Dental Hygiene Clinic in Lincoln.
Appointments are two hours long and can be scheduled Monday through Friday for either 8 or 10 a.m. or 1 or 3 p.m. Evening appointments are also available on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6. The clinic will see patients through April.
Patients will receive a complete hygienic cleaning to remove plaque buildup, clean up stains and spot oral health problems such as cavities or gum disease. Other free services include fluoride treatment, nutritional counseling, a blood pressure screening, dental appliance cleaning, and a head and neck examination to screen for oral cancer.
X-rays and other procedures, such as sealants to help prevent cavities, are available for a fee of $20. The CCRI dental hygiene clinic is not equipped to perform fillings, but those patients who need this procedure will be referred to an affordable dental clinic.
Patients do not need any type of insurance to receive treatment at the CCRI clinic.
CCRI has the region’s leading dental hygiene program and its students treat a regular stream of community members as part of their training. The clinic saw more than 1,300 patients last year, many without dental insurance who had gone without dental treatment for many years.
“We are one of the premier programs in the country, with state-of-the-art equipment,” said Kathy Gazzola, chair of the CCRI Dental Health Department.
“Our hygiene clinic is a learning lab where our students are honing their dental hygiene skills under supervision of the faculty.”
Dental Hygiene Professor Melissa Sullivan is one of those faculty supervisors. “We’re a little jewel here that people don’t know about,” she said about the clinic. “We’re really focused on getting people well. It’s wonderful treatment.”
Shannon Clausen, a senior dental hygiene student in her final semester, said: “You will get a great cleaning because our faculty will not let us leave anything on your teeth.”
All types of patients are welcomed at the CCRI clinic, including children and adults, and those who have not had dental treatment in years.
Clausen said she frequently sees patients who have not had their teeth cleaned in as many as 20 years. She said the clinic particularly welcomes these patients because the students know they are doing a lot of good for them.
Teeth cleanings may seem like a medical procedure that can safely be skipped, and many people are making that choice in this economy. However, good oral health is tied to overall health. Plaque buildup is linked to other health problems such as heart disease, and the mouth may be hiding painless infections that can affect other parts of the body.
If you are concerned about your oral health, this is an excellent opportunity to receive quality dental treatment.
The CCRI Dental Hygiene Clinic is in Room 1120 at the college’s Flanagan Campus, 1762 Louisquisett Pike, Lincoln. Learn more about the clinic or call 401-333-7250 to schedule an appointment.