RV dental clinic to help St. Martin students

A recreational vehicle equipped as a mobile dental clinic should hit the road this summer, offering care to St. Martin Parish students enrolled in school programs.

The services were set to begin in October, but the delayed receipt of federal and state approvals postponed the launch, said Roderick Campbell, CEO of Iberia Comprehensive Community Health Center.

The health center received a $462,000 federal grant to launch the mobile service with a dentist and two dental assistants and build a pediatric behavioral health unit in St. Martinville to improve St. Martin Parish students’ access to health services.

The grant was acquired in partnership with the school system, which operates three school-based health centers that offer students health and behavioral health services.

The school-based health centers serve as a safety net for students from families who are uninsured or under-insured, and also helps students stay at school and parents stay at work by treating minor ailments.

The mobile dental services are a preventative measure and any major issues, such as extractions, will be referred to the student’s primary dental provider, officials have said.

If the student doesn’t have a dentist, one is available on-site at the Iberia Comprehensive Community Health Center’s St. Martinville location.

The mobile dental services also will be available to school employees, Campbell said.

Those services will begin at the few parish schools with summer programs, he added.