Bangor Dental Clinic Gives Kids a Smile and Receives Grant 

Big news from a dental clinic in Bangor. Not only are kids getting free dental checks, but the clinic is one of the few in the country receiving big bucks from the federal government.A lot of little mouths are being taken care of at Penobscot Community Health Center in Bangor.”We believe in children, we believe in their health, we want them to feel good about themselves and have a nice smile,” says Nicole Schobel with Penobscot Community Health Center.Each year, through Give Kids a Smile Day, the folks at PCHC offer free care for anyone up to age 18.”Cleanings, exams any x-rays that need to be done and we’re also doing some fillings and restorations,” says Schobel.Currently, the facility has 27 chairs and 4 residents. By next year, there will be 50 chairs and 6 residents, thanks in large part to becoming one of eleven Teaching Health Centers in the country.”This award is because of the quality of the program, the quality of the staff we have here, the product. That we’re producing dentists to work in community health centers and under served areas,” says Dr. David Drohan, Chief Dental Officer at PCHC.PCHC will receive $600,000 a year for 5 years through funds from the Affordable Care Act. “The grant that this residency has been able to get ensures that we’ll be able to do things at this residency site that a lot of residency sites around the country aren’t able to do,” says Dr. Michael Visser with PCHC.With the funding comes the goal of recruiting more dentists to Maine, so children will always be able to have a great looking smile.”There is no shortage of dental work that needs to be done, and so there’s plenty of opportunities for young dentists who are looking to help people,” says Visser.The only other center in New England to be designated a Teaching Health Center is in Massachusetts.