Second-year dental hygiene students at Bellingham Technical College are seeking members of the community to serve as patients for free teeth screenings as part of the students’ training prior to their final examinations.
The students are required to take seven board examinations during their final two quarters in the program. Finding qualifying board patients can be difficult, according to the college, since it can take an average of about 200 screenings to find enough qualified patients for the board exam.
Specifically, the college is looking for volunteers who have heavy calculus (tartar) on their teeth, have their molars, be free from large cavities or latex allergies, and have no “gum pockets” more than 6 millimeters.
During board examinations, students will take patients to a test site to demonstrate competence in cleaning teeth.
Those interested can call the BTC Dental Clinic at 360-752-8349 for a free screening appointment, if it has been at least five years since their last cleaning. Patients who qualify for the board exam will receive full mouth x-rays, a teeth cleaning and an exam at no cost.
Those who do not qualify might also be able to receive low-cost dental hygiene services at the clinic, depending on the availability of appointments.
The screenings, which take between 15-20 minutes, will be held in Building C on BTC’s campus, from 3-6 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, or from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.