HCN News & Notes

STCC Dental Hygiene Clinic to Offer Free Treatments for Two Months

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College’s (STCC) Dental Hygiene Clinic will offer free preventive treatment for children and adults in February and March.

The clinic on the campus of STCC usually charges a nominal fee for services, but the college decided to waive fees for two months to help the community, many of whom are facing financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. The clinic, which is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., is now accepting appointments.

“The service at the clinic includes scaling and prophylaxis (teeth cleaning), any needed X-rays, fluoride treatments, as well as dental sealants for children, which can run from $30 to $60 per tooth in the outside sector,” said Meg Loadholt, Dental Hygiene program coordinator.

The clinic in Building 20, Room 238 offers comprehensive oral healthcare provided by STCC dental hygiene students under the direction of licensed dental hygienists and dentists.

“The STCC Department of Dental Hygiene continues to prove its long-standing value as the region’s premier training center for dental team members in dental offices near and far,” said Martin Wohl, chair of the Valley District Dental Society. “Providing their terrific expertise, especially in the face of all our pandemic trials, highlights the responsibility the program and its students feel toward their stressed communities. I hope community members take full advantage of such a valuable resource for as long as it can be available. In addition, the training of every student will be greatly enhanced.”

The clinic adheres to strict safety guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. The college has temporarily suspended any aerosol-generating procedures (namely, ultrasonic scalers and polishing teeth) from treatment options. In certain cases, under direction of a faculty member, such treatment might be allowed using devices that eliminate 93% of aerosols.

The college has limited the number of people who can gather in the clinic and labs to allow for social distancing. Both students and faculty wear masks and face shields. All dental hygiene students, faculty, and staff are scheduling appointments to be vaccinated.

Anyone who enters Building 20, where the clinic is located, must complete an attestation form and answer questions about any recent travel outside of Massachusetts and if they have experienced any symptoms related to COVID-19 or have been exposed to anyone experiencing symptoms. Staff also will check temperatures of people entering the building.

To schedule an appointment, call (413) 755-4900. For more information, visit stcc.edu/dental.