June 29, 2018
UNE student Rebekah Reed (CDM ’19) finds herself in a unique situation this summer. She’s providing dental care on a bus as part of her 12-week externship. Reed is working with Timothy Oh, D.M.D., at the Caring Hands of Maine Dental Center in Ellsworth. She leaves the office once a week to do outreach in the community or on nearby islands.
“We’re either on the bus, in a boat or we take a trailer with our portable equipment and set up in whatever community building is available to us,” says Reed.
Reed recently provided care to 12 patients on the bus, all under the age of 5. It was their first dental experience.
“If I can provide a fun environment for them, make it lighthearted and show we care, that’s very rewarding,” she says.
The bus is outfitted with a dental chair, x-ray machine, sink and cabinets. The dental team can provide many procedures on the bus, including cleanings, restorative work and extractions.
Typically, there are fewer dentists in rural areas, making it difficult for patients to get proper care. Having a mobile unit makes it easier for them to access Oh and his team.
“We can set it up anywhere,” says Reed. “We can bring dental care out to the patients and we can cut down their commute time.”
Reed is hoping to practice in a rural section of Maine after graduation.
To learn more about the University of New England College of Dental Medicine, visit: www.une.edu/dentalmedicine
To apply, visit www.une.edu/admissions