Conventional wisdom has it that no one really wants to go to the dentist. Not so for many people in our region who are in urgent need of quality, affordable oral health services. People in need of dental care will benefit greatly when the Mashpee addition is completed.
Despite opening earlier and closing later during weekdays, adding Saturday hours, and the outstanding work of our dental staff and providers, the wait times for appointments for both new and established patients at our Marion Jordan Center for Dental Health are longer than we would like them to be.
A significant portion of the 22,000 square-foot project will be devoted to the expansion of the dental clinic, which will go from three dental chairs to ten! We are confident that when the expanded dental clinic is fully operational, wait times will decrease.
In addition to enabling us to see more patients more quickly, one of the new chairs will be specifically designed for disabled patients. Currently, there are no handicapped-specific dental operatories in our region and we look forward to providing this specialized service.
Another highlight of the increased space is that it will enable us to partner with educational institutions to serve as a training site for prospective dentists and dental hygienists. Cape Cod is designated by the federal government as a dental Health Professional Shortage Area and this lack of providers is a significant barrier to people receiving care in a timely fashion. We are currently in discussions with Boston University School of Dental Medicine and Cape Cod Community College to create externships to expose students to the rewards and challenges of dental care in the community health center setting.
The dental clinic will encompass approximatley half of the ground floor of the addition, as you can see on the left side of the drawing. The pharmacy, vision services, and patient financial services will also be located on the ground floor.