ST. CLOUD -- Giving students the opportunity to learn with real patients, the UCare Mobile Dental Clinic is in St. Cloud this week.

Mary Thomas is the Assistant Director of the UCare Mobile Dental Clinic. She says the clinic travels throughout much of the state.

"We are operating 48 weeks out of the year. We are in six locations in Greater Minnesota and five or six in the Twin Cities area."

The clinic is a partnership between UCare and the University of Minnesota's School of Dentistry. Dental students work with UCare patients to practice the skills they've learned in the classroom.

"There are three dental chairs in there so in any given trip you have three dental students. We also have dental therapy and dental hygiene students come out during our Twin Cities rotations and then there's always one overseeing dental faculty."

On average the clinic serves nine patients a day and will be in a town for five days.

The dental RV isn't a typical clinic since it is on wheels, but the size doesn't slow down operations.

"It is a small area but at the same time there is room to work around and we are able to move the keyboards and move the screens closer to us. We're able to work things around so it's not too cramped."

Most of the services done in the mobile clinic are routine cleanings and other smaller procedures.

The UCare Mobile Dental Clinic will be at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in St. Cloud through Friday. Appointments do need to be scheduled in advance and you must have UCare as your insurance provider. For appointment information follow the link below.

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