Special Olympics Athletes Get Free Dental Check-Ups

September 13, 2017 10:18 PM

UCare's Mobile Dental Clinic stops in Duluth twice a year, and parks in the Coppertop Church parking lot.

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But Wednesday was the highlight of their year.

"Today is a very special day for us. Once a year, we see athletes from the Special Olympics, and provide care for free. It's very exciting for them, with lots of laughs, and fun for us as well," explained Dr. Paul Schulz, Director of the Mobile Dental Clinic. 

He is the faculty in charge of the 4th year dental students from the U of MN who are performing the work. 

One of them, Karly Whitsitt, said it's really rewarding.

"This is a population that we don't work with much at school. And it's a population I'm really interested in treating after school.  I work with the athletes during the Special Olympics, giving them flouride treatments and making mouth guards. But today we actually get to provide dental treatment," she said.

They work inside the custom-built clinic, which has space for three patients at a time, and is wheelchair accessible. Dental students, along with dental assistants, joked with the athletes, so all had a good time.

The dental clinic is a partnership between UCare and the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. It's been around for about 15 years, although the Special Olympic addition is only about 10 years old.

Their appointments are booked for the week, but you can call 1-866-451-1555 to make an appointment for the spring. UCare insurance holders are welcome.


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