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Free Dental Clinic Has Washington County Residents All Smiles 

Adults and kids from all over Washington County are getting some much needed dental work free of charge, thanks to a true team effort.People lining up at the Lee Pellon Event Center on Main St. in Machias will tell you these folks in blue coats are angels. In reality, they’re a group of dental students from New York University who put on free dental clinics all over the world… this week, they’ve made the trip to Machias. “We’re hoping this will not only take care of a lot of people this week, but will raise the awareness and get people to think more about their teeth and the importance of fixing problems before they become emergencies,” says Timothy Oh who spent much of the past year working to bring this clinic to Washington County. Oh is the Director of the Caring Hands of Maine Dental Center. “We looked around the state at different areas and what types of access to care were out there,” says Oh. “Washington County came up on top of a lot of people’s list in terms of areas that needed to have this type of program.”Funding for the clinic comes from grants provided by Northeast Delta Dental, a non-profit dental insurance company. Dr. Stuart Hirsch of NYU believes access to care is the biggest problem facing dental care in the country today. “We will do all of the care these children need and then we will get them on a preventive program that maintains that care,” says Dr. Hirsch.Betty Lewey has been transporting kids from Perry to Machias to take advantage of this opportunity. “Oh my god they’re a bunch of angels,” says Lewey. “I think it’s awesome. I attended both the meetings. It’s the best thing that’s come about.”The clinic isn’t just for kids. Some of the adults, like Marc Hadfield, who are treated here are all smiles. “Well they fixed my two front teeth. They needed to be done for a long time. I couldn’t appreciate it more you know,” Hadfield says.The clinic will be available to everyone in Washington County for the rest of the week except for Thursday.