Something to smile about: CPTC to offer more Community Mobile Dental Clinics

By Jean Borst

For many people, cost, lack of insurance and lack of access prevent them from getting urgent dental treatment. Clover Park Technical College (CPTC) mobile dental clinics provided by CPTC’s Dental Assistant program are a free and easy way for students and community members to get the critical care they need.

Now, thanks to a Milgard Family Foundations grant, even more people will be served on campus in the future.

CPTC Dental Assistant program instructor Hannah Precour (right) and students who participated in the recent Mobile Community Dental Clinic.

More care, more often

The Community Mobile Dental Clinic provides oral exams, X-rays, fillings and extractions at no cost, and no insurance is required. Services are provided by area dentists and dental hygienists and CPTC dental assistant students. Patients are seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Anyone who isn’t seen receives information about other free and low-cost dental clinics in the community.

Grant funding from the Milgard Family Foundations will enable CPTC to increase the number of campus clinics they offer from quarterly to around every two months. The frequency boost is coming at the right time. At the most recent dental health event held in May, 21 patients were seen and students helped with 32 exams and X-rays before the mobile clinic reached capacity and had to shut down.

“The response was overwhelming,” CPTC Dental Assistant Program instructor (and graduate) Hannah Precour said. “It really shows how much of a need there is for these events.”

Nursing students get on board

The May event marked the first time that CPTC Nursing program students were part of the mobile dental clinic care team. A total of 10 students were on hand to complete intake forms and check each patient’s blood pressure, pulse and blood oxygen levels.

Dr. Mark Kadoshima treated 10 patients and provided free dental care valued and more than $3,400.

“Having the nursing students involved provided more one-on-one time with each patient,” Precour said. “Their involvement also enabled us to get solid health histories of each person who was seen.”

Nursing students not only had the opportunity to practice their hands-on skills in a real-world clinical setting, but they also saw how poor access to dental care can impact someone physically, psychologically and socially.

“Leading the students in the dental clinic underscored the critical role that community outreach plays in caring for underserved populations,” CPTC Nursing program instructor Samuel Foarde said. “Nurses play a pivotal role in advocating for and facilitating these outreach programs in an effort to improve the health of patients in need.”

Going forward, Precour hopes to integrate even more services into the dental clinic, including glucose testing, mental health services and additional patient care that helps build a critical bridge between dental health and overall health.

“Our ultimate goal is to treat the whole person, not just provide urgent dental care,” Precour said. “Oral health affects everything.”

Mark your calendars

The next Community Mobile Dental Clinic will be held Aug. 9 in the CPTC building 14 parking lot.  Additional 2024 events are slated for Oct. 25 and Dec. 6.

Add the August event to your calendar by visiting

In addition to grant funding, Community Mobile Dental Clinics are made possible by a partnership with Medical Teams International.

 Ready to learn more? Visit the CPTC Dental Assistant program page.