Speare Memorial Hospital’s Dental Health Program provides free or low-cost dental health services to more than 1,600 local children annually.
“This is a real asset to our state,” says Ruth Doane, certified public health dental hygienist at Speare. “Before Speare brought a dental program into local schools, many students had never been to a dentist and had some very serious issues with their teeth. But, now, students are able to receive more expedient care, resulting in less missed school and fewer trips to the ER for dental infections.”
The Northeast Delta Dental Foundation recently awarded a $2,500 grant to help fund the purchase of dental supplies for the program.
Established in 1998, the program provides free dental screenings, services and education to children enrolled at School Administrative Unit 48, and the Ashland, Lin-Wood and Warren School Districts.
“We provide dental screenings and fluoride varnish applications free of charge, and cleanings and sealants are offered on a sliding fee scale,” Doane said in a news release. She goes on to say, “No one is ever denied services because of their inability to pay. That’s just one reason why this program is so valuable.”
More than 20 area dental practices partner with Speare to provide care to those referred from the program with dental concerns. Support is also provided through the Dental Health Program to families who need financial help, referrals to Medicaid, and assistance with overcoming other dental care barriers.
Clinics are also offered monthly at Plymouth OB/GYN and to the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) programs in Plymouth and Bristol for at-risk pregnant women and pre-school children. The program also includes two childcare facilities, the Lincoln-Woodstock Community Child Care (LWCCC), and Plymouth Head Start (PHS).
For more information, visit online at http://www.spearehospital.com.
To learn more about Northeast Delta Dental and its Foundation, visit nedelta.com.