BTC dental students still need volunteers for screening

Second-year dental hygiene students at Bellingham Technical College will hold free teeth screenings in search of volunteers to undergo a specific teeth cleaning procedure that is among the last steps in the students’ training before their final board examinations.

The 15-20 minute screenings will take place from 3-5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 15, at the college’s dental clinic, located in Building C on BTC’s campus, 3028 Lindbergh Ave.

Volunteers can drop in or call the clinic at 360-752-8349 if it has been at least five years since their last dental cleaning.

College officials said the students have struggled to find enough people who qualify for the teeth cleaning procedure.

Those that do qualify must have very heavy calculus (tartar) on their teeth, and must also still have their molar teeth, no large cavities, no latex allergies and no gum pockets greater than six millimeters. They also should not have had a teeth cleaning within the past five years.

Patients who qualify for the students’ board exam will receive full mouth x-rays, teeth cleanings and exams at no cost.

Finding qualified patients is difficult, according to BTC, and it can take an average of about 200 screenings to find enough patients for the board exam.

Screening times are also available from 3-6 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays from April 21 to June 3.

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