The Madison College Dental Hygiene Clinic is Open for Business



Second year dental hygienist student Dallas Ziegler cleans the teeth of Brian Uploff while using the extra-oral vacuum as a COVID-19 preventative measure that has been put into place this year.

Lauren Taillon, Staff Writer

After closing in March 2020, Madison College’s Dental Hygiene Clinic reopened this past fall and continues to welcome students, faculty, and members of the community to their clinic for cleanings, x-rays, and more while taking extensive COVID-19 precautions.

Even though their dental hygiene classes are still virtual, the dental hygiene clinics and labs are open for business and are welcoming people into their doors. They use top of the line personal protective equipment (PPE), such as N95 masks, gloves, safety glasses, face shields, and disposable gowns, according to Barbara DeBoer, one of the clinic’s leads in the Dental Hygiene Department at Madison College.

“One of the wonderful additions that we do have is we have what is called extra-oral vacuums – and they’re in each unit so it’s like a big vacuum system that we bring close to our patient’s mouths and it does catch any airborne aerosols that are produced in the clinic,” adds DeBoer.

What this means is that the extra-oral vacuum would suck airborne germs coming from the nose or mouth during dental cleanings, helping to keep the air safe from potential COVID-19 particles. “It’s wonderful, and we are very thankful that our college has provided that for our students and now for our patients and our community,” DeBoer continued. The school also takes temperatures at the front entrance and performs a COVID-19 screening before patients attend their appointment at cleaning stations that are more than 6 feet apart.

“Our clinic is very affordable. The dental cleanings for people in the community are only 35 dollars. And that includes cleanings, x-rays, fluoride treatments, cancer screenings, and so much for just 35 dollars,” said DeBoer. Those enrolled at Madison College can get a 10-dollar discount, even if you only take one class. This discount also applies to veterans and Badger Care is accepted for insurance.

After the clinic reopened last semester, appointments trickled in slowly. DeBoer theorized this could be due to fear in the community about COVID-19 but also uncertainty from people who were not sure if the clinic was open or not. Now that people are becoming more aware of the clinic and the safety precautions that are being taken there, the Spring semester has been a little busier, with around 40 appointments in a given day. With there being about roughly 20 students there during business days, there is plenty of room for new patients.

“I think we adapted really well. It’s been very safe, and I also give credit to our student faculty but also with our administration at Madison college. We feel very comfortable and very safe there. It’s fun and it’s easy. I just really wish that more people knew that we were out there because it is an amazing service, and our students are just wonderful. They really, really are,” said DeBoer.

The Dental Hygiene Clinic is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 7:30 – 11:00 a.m. and from 12:00 – 3:30 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call the clinic at (608) 258-2400.