A new community dental center has opened in the area.
Kent County and the Petoskey-based nonprofit My Community Dental Centers, or MCDC, have partnered to open a third MCDC Kent County dental center, at 890 3 Mile Rd. NW in Walker.
The six-chair, 3,000-square-foot center opened last month.
The space includes a patient reception area, a lab and sterilization area and new technology, such as electronic health records and digital X-rays.
The center is staffed by one dentist, Bryan Wazbinski, an office manager, a registered dental hygienist and a registered dental assistant.
The cost of renovations and establishing the new center was $700,000, paid by MCDC.
Grand Rapids-based Rockford Construction was the general contractor on the project. Sparta-based DriscoN was the architect. No interior designer was involved.
Services, patient volume and hours
The center provides “quality dental care to all” for children and adults enrolled in Medicaid, including the Healthy Kids Dental and Healthy Michigan Plan, and private dental insurance.
The center provides oral exams and cleanings, fillings, tooth removal, partials, dentures and other dental procedures. An initial exam with X-rays is $39 for new uninsured patients.
The center also offers My Dental Program for those without dental insurance, which provides reduced fees based on household income, as well as reduced rates for veterans.
MCDC said it expects the new center to serve 3,500 patients, with 7,800 visits at capacity.
More than 108,000 people in Kent County are enrolled in Medicaid, and an additional 32,000 are enrolled in the Healthy Michigan Plan. Seniors enrolled in Medicare have no dental benefit.
The county said when an oral health emergency strikes, those enrolled in Medicaid and the uninsured often head to the emergency room, not the dentist, so this offers a resource to keep that from happening.
“This new center will be a much-needed asset in the community,” said Adam London, administrative health officer, Kent County Health Department.
The center is initially treating patients from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays, which may change based on patient needs.
The center plans to expand hours in the “near future” to four days per week, Monday-Thursday, eventually adding services on Friday.
My Community Dental Centers
My Community Dental Centers is a nonprofit focused on expanding access to dental care.
The organization operates 34 dental centers throughout Michigan on behalf of local health department partners.
It operates three centers in Kent County on behalf of its health department. There is not a financial contribution from Kent County, MCDC said.
Besides the new location, MCDC has one location each in Kentwood and Cedar Springs.
Since the county’s first location opened in Kentwood in 2014, more than 16,000 patients have made nearly 52,000 office visits.