Rhode Islanders can receive a free teeth cleaning and oral health examination during the spring semester at the Community College of Rhode Island’s Dental Hygiene Clinic in Lincoln.
Appointments are two hours and can be scheduled Monday through Friday for 8 or 10 a.m. or 1 or 3 p.m. Evening appointments are available at 6 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 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 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 had almost 2,700 patient visits last year; many were without dental insurance and 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.”
All types of patients are welcomed at the CCRI clinic, including children, adults and those who have not had dental treatment in years.
Gazzola said regular cleanings may seem like a medical procedure that can safely be skipped but 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 hygiene treatment, she said.
The CCRI Dental Hygiene Clinic is in Room 1120 at the college’s Flanagan Campus, 1762 Louisquisett Pike, Lincoln. Learn more about the clinic at www.ccri.edu/dental/clinic or call 401-333-7250 to schedule an appointment.