Dental coalition to provide trip |

Dental coalition to provide trip

Paul Shockley

“Miles for Smiles” it’s not.

But the Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition instead wants to transport children to Rangely for a day next month for free dental services.

“We know the kids are there for this, but it’s just a matter of getting parents to follow and understand how important preventive care is,” said Debi Garoutte, dental coalition executive director.

In collaboration with Colorado Northwestern Community College in Rangely, the dental coalition is offering transportation to Rangely April 12 for no-cost dental services ranging from fluoride treatment, sealant on permanent teeth, or X-rays if needed in cases of suspected tooth decay.

Fewer than 20 children have signed up for the trip, while Garoutte said she’s able to accommodate up to 80 children on a first-come, first-served basis.

The free services are open to all children ages 6 to 18.

“There aren’t any financial (eligibility) guidelines,” said Garoutte, adding that forms available through the dental coalition must be completed and returned prior to the trip.

The deadline to return forms is April 4.

One school bus and a driver — services donated by the Moffat County School District — will

take participating children to the Rangely campus, where

students affiliated with CNCC’s dental school have volunteered time.

The bus leaves at 7 a.m., while CNCC dental staff will work with children 10 at a time. The bus should return about 3 p.m. that Saturday, Garoutte said.

Adult volunteers from the dental coalition and Moffat County United Way will provide supervision, she added.

The trip is unrelated to Dental Coalition’s “Miles for Smiles” program — vans staffed by dental professionals offering services such as extractions.

The van returns to Moffat County the first week of June for a 10-week stay, according to Cheryl Ivy, a board director for the dental coalition.

Ivy, meanwhile, said the dental coalition had in past years offered similar one-day, preventive clinics in Craig.

“We’ve haven’t done anything to this extreme,” Ivy said.

Ivy estimates 600 Moffat County children eligible under Medicaid to receive such treatments do not because of a lack of care providers still accepting patients under the federal program.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at

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