CCRI Dental Hygiene Clinic offers free teeth cleanings

by BARBARA MORSE SILVA, NBC 10 NEWS

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The Dental Hygiene Clinic at the Community College of Rhode Island offers free teeth cleanings.

Every year, 3,000 patients are seen at the clinic located on the Lincoln campus.

“The students within our state-of-the-art dental hygiene clinic here put in 525 clinical hours giving back to the community,” said Kathleen J. Gazzola, department chair of the Dental Hygiene program at CCRI.

“I’m very impressed with the programs,” said Helen Piekarski who’s been coming here for years, even though she has a dentist.

“I feel that they give a thorough examination and the supervision is incredible,” said Piekarski.

That supervision is by a dentist, like Danielle Murphy, who’s here one morning a week.

“You see everything from your simple cases of gingivitis, ‘I just need a cleaning, it’s been six months’ to ‘I haven’t had a cleaning 5, 10, sometimes more, years,” said Dr. Murphy who works at Thundermist.

“They certainly get the best cleaning of their life.”

“The appointments to have a cleaning take about two hours,” said Gazzola.

And that includes education and an exam by the dentist.

What’s not included are panoramic x-rays. But they are affordable at $20 and will be forwarded to your dentist, if you have one, for review. And preventive services for kids, like sealants, are $20. And should someone need dental work, there are many community partners, like Thundermist.

“Thundermist like most community health centers usually works on a sliding scale,” said Murphy.

In addition to the free cleanings, you walk away with other free stuff–toothbrushes, floss and mouthwash.

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