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New mobile dental bus to reach more kids, seniors

Posted June 7

— Expect to see some brighter smiles.

A $200,000 grant from the Delta Dental Foundation helped the Great Lakes Bay Health Centers buy a third mobile dental bus.

Last year, they served around 8,000 kids around the region in addition to other patients.

The new bus, complete with a wheelchair lift, will allow the GLBHC to reach seniors as well.

"They have no transportation, a lot of them can be wheelchair bound or have difficulty traveling. And this allow us to get to them so that we can improve their oral health," said Dr. Paul Crowley, the GLBHC chief dental officer.

The bus is a full-service dental office. There's even some extras, likes televisions above the chairs, designed to help patients who might be a little scared.

"Something that can take the children's mind away from the procedures we may be doing on them," Crowley said.

Many of the kids they help are visited during school hours. Those patients include the children in the Head Start program in Saginaw.

"Due to us being a federally-funded program, we are required to do dental services within 90 days," said Michelle Valentine, Early Head Start's health coordinator.

Valentine said the buses, and the friendly staff, ease the fears of young children.

Better yet, the GLBHC makes sure families without dental insurance can still afford the care their children need, as the organization understands health and education go hand-in-hand.

"When kids have toothaches for example, they don't eat very well. When they have toothaches, they miss school," Crowley said.

If you'd like a GLBHC mobile dental bus to visit your school or nursing home, call 989-921-4393.


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