MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — Hackley Community Care (HCC) is now serving dental patients from a new 26-ft, mobile dental unit.
Tuesday, the truck — which includes three full dental suites — was parked outside HCC's dental office on Baker Street in Muskegon Heights.
The dentist office on wheels replaces portable dental equipment that HCC staff wheeled into and out of Muskegon area schools to provide dental services over the last 10 years.
The big rig means HCC dentists no longer have to set up and tear down temporary dental suites inside conference rooms, hallways, and locker rooms at schools.
The mobile unit will bring dental services right to high-risk students and students in poverty.
"This was the best way to get the services to the kids that unfortunately cannot make it to our physical sites," said Dr. Joshua Joshua, Hackley Community Care's Chief Dental Officer. "Especially with the pandemic."
The three dental suites inside the mobile unit have the necessary equipment for nearly every dental procedure.
"Everything from cleanings to check ups and preventative services like sealants and fluoride treatments," said Joshua.
A grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) supported the purchase of the mobile unit. And over the next several months, HCC staff will be getting it out and about in Muskegon County as much as possible.
"It doesn't serve anybody if it's parked in storage," said Joshua.
The mobile unit is expected to lift Muskegon County from its low-ranking for dental health among the states' 82 other counties.
"We're towards the bottom," said Joshua.
In a normal year, Hackley Community Care's dental program serves about 17,000 patients. HCC anticipates seeing more students throughout Muskegon County in 2021, and will schedule oral health screening and treatment services on a rotating basis through various school districts.
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