The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

December 4, 2013

Bridgemont’s dental hygiene program continues its community outreach

MONTGOMERY — The reach of Bridgemont Community and Technical College’s dental hygiene program far exceeds the chairs in which patients sit in a sixth-floor clinic at Davis Hall.

Staff and student participants in the dental hygiene program continue to strive to offer increased community service in the Upper Kanawha Valley and beyond, says Michelle Klenk, professor and chairperson of Bridgemont’s dental hygiene department.

In addition to providing an entirely free service to those who avail themselves of it on campus or in the community at large, students and staff in the program are also involved in various manners of community outreach, such as recent screenings involving students at Valley and Gauley Bridge elementary schools in affiliation with dentists from the region. Students and staff have also taken part in programs in other settings such as nursing homes, pre-schools and methadone clinics.

Klenk feels the community service component is important for the dental hygiene program.

“So many people need it (both the dental services offered and the outreach),” she said. Focusing on an improved dental outlook is about “valuing,” she added. “Getting your mouth healthy affects (the rest of your body).”

The current enrollment in the associate degree program is 32 students, who are supervised by three full-time faculty, two part-time faculty and a staff dentist. Students treat over 1,100 patients annually in Bridgemont’s 18-unit on-campus clinic in Montgomery. The patients receive the full range of preventive and therapeutic dental hygiene care, which includes X-rays, cleanings, sealants, impressions/models, periodontal quadrant scaling and root planing and oral screenings. Treatment is completed under direct supervision of licensed practitioners, and it does take longer to complete than in a private dental office.

Referrals for restorative dental procedures such as fillings, crowns, implants, bridges, partials, dentures or extractions are made to local dentists, Klenk said.

“We don’t do dentistry,” she said. Their focus is on “prevention instead of restoration.”

The program is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation. Graduates are eligible to take national, regional and state board examinations for licensure.

In addition to on-campus services, students work alongside licensed practitioners in the HealthRight dental clinic in Charleston providing care to eliminate pain and infection in patients seeking care there. They also actively participate in school-based dental hygiene care through rendering treatment at Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary dental facility and working with the Kanawha Dental Health Council’s registered dental hygienists to provide dental screenings and classroom dental hygiene education in Kanawha County schools.

Community dental health programs have included programs for tobacco cessation, blood pressure clinics, drug treatment facility programs, nursing homes, day care centers, prenatal and childhood education facilities and other programs identified as dental health needs of the various communities served.

Community groups wanting to be involved in a program can call 304-734-6651.

“We would be happy to send students out,” Klenk said.

Overall, the clinic is in operation from late August to May. However, it will close in about two weeks for the Christmas holiday and re-open in mid-January.

Fall appointments are accepted on Mondays and Wednesdays, while that will expand to Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in January.

Appointments must be made in advance. To take advantage of the free services in the Montgomery clinic, call 304-734-6651 to schedule a screening.

— E-mail:

Text Only
Local News
  • ee 1.jpg Energy Express makes impact on students’ lives

    Energy Express to him, Matt White says, is all about a “different experience.”

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • maurices Fostering Self-Esteem

    The local Maurices is involved in a project aimed at making the school transition a little easier this fall for foster children in the area.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Children’s Health and Safety Fair scheduled for August 1

    Montgomery General Hospital and Dr. Traci Acklin have announced that the 2014 Children’s Health and Safety Fair will be held on Friday, Aug. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the hospital.

    July 21, 2014

  • Theater to hold auditions

    Open auditions are set for Tuesday and Thursday at the Historic Fayette Theater for the comedy/drama “Belongings”. Auditions will be held at the theater in Fayetteville at 7 p.m. each evening.

    July 21, 2014

  • asb carver 25 years and counting

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Taylor Made Free concert series

    The next free public concert in the Lively Family Amphitheater Summer Concert Series is a performance Saturday at 6 p.m. by popular band Taylor Made.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Energy Express open house set

    Energy Express, an award-winning summer reading program serving 35+ children in Fayette County, will host a free open house for members of the Beards Fork SALS community. The event takes place on Thursday, July 24, at 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

    July 17, 2014

  • rhody1.jpg Stages of life

    July 14, 2014 3 Photos

  • thurmond depot.jpg Explore town’s rail heritage

    Discover what life was like in one of the New River Gorge’s most renowned towns as you join National Park Service rangers and Operation Lifesaver on Saturday, July 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to explore the historic railroad town of Thurmond.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • apt bldg1.jpg Demolition and disposal

    July 10, 2014 3 Photos