CHIMACUM — The Smilemobile, provider of dental care for babies, children, teenagers and adults, will pull up this coming week beside the Tri-Area Community Center at 10 W. Valley Road.
“When a person comes on the Smilemobile, we’re asking them how we can help them. We don’t have an agenda. Our providers just say: ‘How can we help you today?’” said Karri Amundson, Smilemobile senior program officer.
Patients are encouraged to schedule appointments by phoning 888-286-9105 for the mobile dental clinic, whose hours will be 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. today, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and 9 a.m. to noon Thursday.
Babies and toddlers on up to teenagers and adults — including pregnant and postpartum women — are welcome to receive dental examinations and oral health education. Sealants, temporary fillings and simple extractions also can be done by Dr. Ann Sabatino, the Smilemobile dentist.
Due to COVID-19, the Smilemobile does not provide cleanings or other aerosol-producing procedures.
Babies and toddlers are especially welcome on the Smilemobile, Amundson said.
“We’d really like to see the child with their first tooth,” she said, adding she also asks parents what they need in the way of dental care.
“Clallam and Jefferson county have really high needs,” she noted.
“You have a high number of people on Medicaid who are not getting into a dental office that accepts Medicaid.
“It’s getting better,” she said, but many people aren’t aware that Medicaid covers dental care.
Her message for parents and their kids: “Cavities are preventable,” and a trip to the dentist doesn’t have to be the stressful experience it was, years ago, for many patients.
“We want to make sure you’re comfortable. We’re not into shaming people,” she added.
The Smilemobile visited Port Angeles and Forks earlier this year, Amundson said. The mobile unit is funded by the Arcora Foundation (arcorafoundation.org) in partnership with Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected] news.com.