Driving Dentists

A mobile dental van is addressing the demand of oral health care in the community. The Community Healthcare Center works closely with schools to promote oral health for kids.

Community Healthcare Center officials said every year the number of kids they see and treat continues to grow.

The mobile dental van screened more than 4,000 kids and treated 1,500 last year.

The way the program works is schools send home a consent form; if parents agree the dentist will do an initial screening. Then a few weeks later they will return to the school and perform work in the van.

Brett Moyer, Community Relations Manager, said, "We can do things like hygiene and assist with things like cleaning, we can also help with fillings." Moyer added, "Basically any of the primary work that the kids need done we can do. We can get it done on the unit itself at the schools."

The dental office on wheels offers two fully stocked dental spaces with x-ray capabilities.

The Community Healthcare Center takes all insurance, but a majority of the kids they treat are under medicaid. Families paying out of pocket are charged on a sliding scale.

The mobile dental van cost several hundred thousand dollars. A number of different agencies, along with donations allowed the center to purchase the van back in 2008.

Natalie Garcia,   Newschannel 6