Dental care options, expanding dental hygiene program at TJC - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Dental care options, expanding dental hygiene program at TJC

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TYLER (KYTX) - Millions of Americans go without the proper dental care they need, and it's not covered for everyone under the Affordable Care Act.

It's dental hygiene month so we're taking a look at East Texans' options for care.

It sounds just like any other dentists office, but these hygienists are students at Tyler Junior College.

"We have everything else, but no dental coverage" says John Idrago, a retired school teacher.

He came to the clinic to get a better rate on his check up.

"Great opportunity not only to have your teeth cleaned, but to be a guinea pig for students," says Idrago.

"We're saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in treatment and people just don't know. It's only $20, you get a cleaning, xrays and sealants. They're so beneficial," says second year student, Chelsi Gallina.

Gallina says between working with those in need in the clinic, to helping in the community, it's a big reward for a small piece of knowledge.

With the growth of the program and the need in the community, the expansion will help with more spots for students, and more seats for people in need.

They're expanding from 13 seats to 33.

"We do have phone calls very often, daily on a daily basis, from people who need to have a filling or a tooth extracted or some type of restorative work," says department head Carrie Hobbs.

Hobbs says the need in the community won't decrease whether people don't have a job, or just don't have insurance, the need is always there.

"We do geriatrics, special needs, go to schools and do all grades in schools, just get the information out there," says Gallina.

Information on good oral health, that could benefit your overall health.

You can contact the dental hygiene clinic at TJC to set up an appointment.

Some pediatric dental care is included in the Affordable Health Care Act, and people can buy medigap insurance to help.

Less than one percent of dental care is covered by Medicare.

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