There is a new kids dental clinic in Bay County

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Panama City - The Bay County Health Department Children's Dental Clinic has a new home on east 15th Street. Official say the clinic is in high demand and could help up to 18,000 children in Bay County. Health department officials started working on the vacant dental clinic on East 15th Street back in November of 2010.

The old owner's left behind about $575,000 worth of dental equipment in need of refurbishing. The funding came from the Florida Department of Health and a $100,000 grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida.

"We got all new chairs that have been refurbished and we went through the whole dental clinic and repainted everything, redid windows, got rid of a lot of charts, and brought in new equipment, more modern equipment, up to date," said Doug Kent, Bay County Health Dep. Director.

The clinic will treat kids are ages 2 to 21 who live below 200% of the federally designated poverty level.

"We are after the kids, so that we can help them and once we help them it's going to be a life time savings. Not only for the general public, but for their lives all together," said Kent.

Clinic managers expect to see around 80 patients a day, but they'll provide even more free dental care with the help of "miles of smiles" mobile dental clinic. The bus is equipped with chairs and equipment to visit local schools and provide children with free dental care.

"It will be targeting the kids like 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade all different kids and it will be offered to everybody, so that we can do a prevention program," said Kent.

Health department officials will unveil both the clinic and bus at 2:00 Tuesday afternoon. The public is welcomed to attend. If you would like to attend the clinic is located at 3518 E. Highway 98, Springfield Fl. and to make an appointment you can call (850)872-4455.

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