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Columbia Memorial Brings Dental Care to Rural Communities

To improve access to dental care in the region, Columbia Memorial Health uses their school-based Mobile Dental Services program to provide comprehensive services for Columbia and Greene county residents, including children in grades Pre-Kindergarten to twelve. Licensed dentists and hygienists perform exams, x-rays, cleanings, sealants, and fluoride treatments for students in local school districts and at Head Start sites. Services also include fillings, extractions, and other treatment for the care of dental decay.

In addition to mobile dental services, the program uses portable dental equipment for preventive dentistry in the school building, and provides education for parents and children. In alignment with the state's Prevention Agenda, oral health education and dental exams are provided in underserved communities, including a Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), sites, and health fairs.

More than 3,500 patients have received dental services since the program began; access to preventive dental treatment services for rural students and Medicaid/Children's Health Insurance Program recipients has improved; and low-income populations are more aware of good oral health.