By Debby Abe
LAKEWOOD – People looking for high-quality, low-cost dental care can find it at the Pierce College Dental Hygiene Clinic in Lakewood.
The clinic is welcoming new patients.
The Pierce College Dental Hygiene Program operates the clinic at the college’s Fort Steilacoom campus. Patients are treated by students under close supervision of professors, who are licensed dental hygienists and dentists.
“Students render the care, and the licensed dental hygienists and dentists check all patient treatment,” said Monica Hospenthal, the program director.
The clinic incorporates $700,000 worth of state-of-the-art dental equipment that was installed last fall.
Patients can receive a range of preventive care and treatment including cleanings, sealants, andamalgam (silver) and composite (white) fillings. Since it is not a full dental clinic, it does not provide extractions, dentures, crowns or root canals, but can refer patients to low-cost clinics.
Clinic fees are low compared with private dentists, and Pierce College students and Provider One patients receive a further reduction for preventive care.
Anyone can get a free screening to determine suitability as a patient. Since the program’s mission is to educate dental hygiene students, patients must meet specific criteria to be accepted at the clinic.
Patients should remember that students take longer than professional dental hygienists to perform treatments. Once a patient has been accepted, students individually schedule appointments.
Pierce College Dental Hygiene Clinic
Pierce College Fort Steilacoom
9401 Farwest Dr. S.W., Lakewood, WA 98498
Hours are based on Pierce College’s academic calendar, but are generally:
– Monday & Friday: 8 a.m. to noon
– Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
* This summer, the clinic will be closed Aug. 19 through Sept. 20.