The city of Saginaw is considered a dental Health Professional Shortage Area, with more than 7,300 residents per dentist. Non-profit Great Lakes Bay Health Centers (GLBHC) decided to help combat that problem by relocating and expanding its Wadsworth Dental Center at 2308 Wadsworth Rd. The facility was moved to 321 Warren Ave., across the street from the STARS bus terminal.
The idea to expand started about three years ago when GLBHC officials applied for funding with the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, receiving $1 million. The organization also received another $1.2 million from 10 area foundations, including the Dow Corning Foundation, Delta Dental Foundation and the Harvey Randall Wickes Foundation.
The seven thousand square foot facility can accommodate up to 15 patients and employs five dentists, five dental students, two hygienists and support staff. It has expanded from 10 to 15 dental stations and can accommodate up to 80 patients a day or about 50,000 a year.
Center officials say oral hygiene is more important than many people realize. Poor oral hygiene has been linked to diabetes complications, behavioral and developmental issues in children, heart disease and more. A lack of access and high dental costs are barriers to dental care, often complicating other health issues a person may have.
The center accepts all types of insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, and even people without insurance will be seen. Costs are based on an income dependent sliding scale.
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