Clinic offers dental service for Wayne County residents

Karen Bouffard
The Detroit News

A new dental clinic inside the Wayne Health Center is increasing access to oral health services for county residents while providing training opportunities for University of Detroit Mercy dental students.

More than 250 county residents have benefited from free or low-cost cleanings, fillings and extractions since the dental suite at the federally funded health center opened in Wayne. It also serves the residents of Westland, Romulus and Inkster.

“Many communities in Wayne County are designated as dental shortage areas, this means that they do not have access to dental care,” said Mouhanad Hammami, director of the Wayne County Department of Health, Veterans and Community Wellness. “This dental suite creates access to life-changing care that can dramatically impact wellness across the community.”

Dawn Tackett has dental coverage, but says she had a hard time finding a dentist who participates in her plan. The Wayne Health Center clinic accepts all insurances, including Medicaid, and provides care for people without dental coverage.

“I was really glad I found it,” Tackett said.

The Wayne Health Center, which opened eight months ago, is the second Federally Qualified Health Center in the county funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They’ve provided primary care for more than 500 patients so far, and also offer mental health services.

The dental suite was created in partnership with the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry, and has allowed the school to expand its teaching program. Dentists and dental students provide X-rays, fillings, extractions, cleanings and preventative care.

“Providing community-based dental and medical services is the standard of care for communities in need,” said Dr. Mert Aksu, who is the dean of the University of Detroit School of Dentistry, in a statement.

People without dental insurance are charged on a sliding scale, and no patient in need of care is turned away.

Wayne dental clinic

■Located inside the Wayne Health Center, 33030 Van Born Rd. in Wayne.

■The dental suite is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

■ Call (734) 727-7101 for information or appointments.