The Snake River Community Clinic in Lewiston is opening a new dental operating space to expand its services in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley.
The clinic provides free medical, dental and behavioral health care for uninsured and underinsured people in the region.
The expansion, funded by a donation from Delta Dental of Idaho, will add panoramic digital imaging, a DCI Edge Dental Chair with an air/water/suction station, and a sterilization station.
The new space will allow dental providers to do fillings, extractions, fluoride treatments, routine cleanings, X-rays, consults for crowns and restorations and denture referrals.
“(Free dental care) improves mental health, decreases emergency room visits, and improves health equity in the Lewis Clark valley and the region,” clinic director Heidi Burford-Bell said in a news release.
The dental clinic relies on community dentists, periodontists and endodontists who volunteer their professional services to the clinic, which operates three days a week for most of the year.
“We rehab people’s mouths,” James Pierce, volunteer dental director for the clinic, said in the release. “It helps reestablish self-image and helps people find jobs.”
The clinic also receives donations from Twin County United Way toward operating funds, and a grant from the Lewis Clark Valley Healthcare Foundation to create a stronger dental program in the valley.