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Floss cutting kicks off opening of new dental clinic

One year after the tobacco commission approved $400,000 to fund dental equipment for a proposed Halifax Regional Dental Clinic, the ribbon was cut Tuesday evening marking the official grand opening of the new clinic.

The Dental Clinic, part of a $2.5 million expansion of the Halifax Primary Care facility in the Houghton Industrial Park in South Boston, officially opens to the public Friday.

Vernon Hill native Dr. Bridget McDowell Brown will serve as dental director and will practice dentistry at the clinic beginning Friday. Joining Brown will be a hygienist and support staff.

Located on Aubrey’s Loop adjacent to Halifax Primary Care, the dental clinic will maintain a patient base with 80 percent of patients 21 years old or younger and 20 percent over the age of 21. 

This focus on children is geared toward providing critical early prevention and treatment that will support childhood development and curb future dental issues, clinic officials said Tuesday. 

The clinic will provide affordable, high quality dental services to area residents who do not have the financial means to access dental care.

The Halifax Regional Health System held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Halifax Primary Care medical expansion and Halifax Regional Dental Clinic last spring. 

The clinic is part of a 10,100 square foot expansion recently completed at Halifax Primary Care. 

In addition to Tobacco Commission funding of $400,000 for equipment, Halifax Regional received a community development block grant through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development in the amount of $700,000. 

Virginia Health Care Foundation also approved $150,000 of first-year operation funding. 

Additional contributions were received from Delta Dental, Wells Fargo, Suntrust, CapTrust and Morgan Trust. 

The 10,100 square foot expansion, which began in the summer, doubled the size of the current facility with 3,700 square feet devoted to a dental clinic, and 6,500 square feet devoted to expansion of Halifax Primary Care allowing for five additional physicians, two dentists, a hygienist and accompanying support staff. 

The entire project cost an estimated $2.5 million, with $1.3 million designated for the primary care expansion and $1.2 million for the dental clinic.

Halifax Regional Dental Clinic will be open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. focusing on Medicaid eligible and uninsured children of all ages as well as adults with or without insurance. 

Services include but are not limited to preventive dentistry, oral hygiene education, routine cleanings, X-rays and root canals.

A lot of things had to come together in order for the expansion to take place, according to Halifax Regional Health System CEO Chris Lumsden.

Halifax Regional Health System started planning for the primary care center and the need for dental services six or seven years ago, he added.

Appointments to Halifax Regional Dental Clinic may be made by calling 434-517-8361.