Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - A large grant will help a Rochester nonprofit dental service provider cover the costs of its new facility.  

Community Dental Care recently broke ground for a new facility that is scheduled to open in about a year. The facility will have 18 chairs and is projected to  provide primary dental services to 10,000 people. The services will be targeted to low-income families and people living in poverty. 

Community Dental Care Thursday announced it has received a $1-million grant from Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation to help pay for the facility, located at 2120 East Highway 14.

Community Dental Care says there is a significant, unmet need for oral health care in southeastern Minnesota. It currently operates a small, six-chair clinic in Rochester and has a list of patients who are waiting two months for a dentist appointment and seven months for a hygienist. In Olmsted County and the surrounding areas, of the 71,000 people who are eligible for public programs, almost 70 percent went without care in 2014. Only 43 percent of the more than 10,000 Medicaid-eligible children visited a dentist.

“We are so happy to support this project, which will bring accessible dental care to an area of the state that has demonstrated a significant need, and to do so with a partner who has a proven record of meeting those needs,” said Joe Lally, Executive Director of Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation. “We know that oral health is key to overall health, and we believe that every single person deserves a healthy smile. This new clinic will make a substantial impact for thousands of Minnesotans who otherwise would not have access to quality care.”

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