Colorado Northwestern Community College dental students visit Horizons residents

Local dental hygiene students were able to visit Horizons Specialized Services residents last week to do some outreach about essential dental hygiene care. 

On Oct. 13, five second-year dental students from Colorado Northwestern Community College made a trip to Horizons in Craig to educate staff and residents about dental care practices. Students were able to train staff on how to help residents better care for their oral health. 

The students also visited the Horizons residential home to offer socialization time, oral health instruction, and provide fluoride to residents. This is the second visit to Horizons for the dental program, and the group is also planning to do outreach with Horizons in Steamboat in the spring. 

Dental Program Director TIffany Douglas said that the students really enjoyed the visit with the residents and they had many takeaways from the outreach. The students wrote that seeing the residents in the long-term care facility tugged at their heartstrings. 

Coming away from the visit, students hope that in the future CNCC could host a clinic day at the Craig campus, which would be a benefit to the community and provide valuable experience for students. 

Being able to provide training and new information for the Horizons staff was another high point for the dental students. It gave providers insight about dental care practices to improve their clients care and also their own dental health. 

One of the challenges, students found, was that some Horizons residents are on a waitlist for care and are in desperate need of restorative work but can’t find a dentist to commit. 

“I am proud of the students and the care they gave and the love and kindness they showed,” said Douglas. “As stated by a student, ‘these people deserve nothing less than the best.’”

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