By Bob Fowler, Roane State staff writer
The Roane State Community College Dental Health Clinic has received three grants for its free monthly clinics for area residents who have limited access to dental care, said associate professor Melinda Gill, director of the college’s dental hygiene program.
- The clinic was awarded a $2,500 Community Action Grant from the Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary Club to underwrite two Saturday morning clinics to serve Roane County residents.
- The United Way of Anderson County has funded a $1,000 discretionary grant to purchase a high-speed handpiece used in filling cavities. With the addition of that second apparatus, it will increase the number of patients who can be treated, Gill said.
- Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee has awarded a $5,000 grant to purchase dental equipment and materials to support the operation of the clinic to better serve the dental needs of the patients. This grant was in collaboration with Mid-East Community Action Agency.
The clinic is located in the Coffey-McNally Building on Roane State’s Oak Ridge campus and features six operatories/treatment rooms, equipped with the latest dental treatment technologies.
The clinic has been a fixture in the community since 1990. Residents from numerous East Tennessee counties have received dental care there.
While patients receive necessary treatment, clinic organizers and volunteers also seek to educate them, Gill said.
“We want to teach them how to take care of their teeth,” she said. When it comes to dental woes, “We don’t just want to put out those fires, we want to prevent them.”
For more information about the Roane State Community College Dental Health Clinic, call (865) 481-2016.