CNCC’s dental hygiene program offers low cost dental care services to communities

CNCC dental hygiene students treat patients of all ages for low cost, providing dental care to the uninsured and under-insured, as well as valuable experience and practice for the students, who are carefully supervised by their instructors. courtesy photo

RBC | For years the dental hygiene program at Rangely’s Colorado Northwestern Community College campus has quietly extended benefits to the community, not just in the form of offering an Associate of Applied Science degree for hygiene students but also providing low cost dental services for locals.
CNCC’s dental hygiene program requires five semesters of study plus clinical training. In order to obtain the hands on experience of the degree hygiene students must work on dental patients. Enter anyone with teeth that need cleaned.
By making an appointment with the college anyone can gain access to a wide variety of dental services at a very discounted price. The hygiene program services include health history assessments, extraoral and intraoral exams including an oral cancer screening, oral hygiene evaluations and preventive measures, oral prophylaxis (cleaning), non-surgical periodontal therapy, fluoride treatments, x-rays, pit and fissure sealants and nutrition counseling.
Children three years old and younger can receive the service for free, youth up to age 17 and those 55 and older pay $10 and adults up to 54 years of age pay $25. The prices include x-rays and sealants.
In addition to reaching out the community at large, the hygiene program has developed a relationship with Rangely Schools. For many years students at Parkview Elementary have had the option of going to CNCC for an annual cleaning and check up, free of charge. The school busses students up to the college where they undergo basic dental care. The program allows the hygiene students to obtain much needed practice with pediatric patients while providing no cost dental services to local children, some who might not otherwise receive a cleaning that year. Parkview students return home with a note from the hygienist reporting on their oral health condition and any concerns that should be discussed with their regular dentist.
The dental hygiene program currently has 26 first year and 27 second year students enrolled. The second year students typically treat between 75 and 80 patients per year in the clinic.
Those interested in making an appointment with the school can call 970-675-3250.