Access to oral health care has been a longstanding problem in our central Maine community. The ability to get quality regular oral health care is critical to maintain pain free teeth and a healthy smile. It is also a crucial factor in maintaining overall health. Poor oral health is associated with chronic medical problems including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and pregnancy complications.
In 1999 the nonprofit Kennebec Valley Dental Coalition, a volunteer group of dental providers, medical providers, and community members was formed to explore ways to improve access to oral health services for all residents of central Maine. The Waterville Community Dental Center is the product of the work of the KVDC. Its history is outlined in this timeline:
2000: Kennebec Valley Dental Coalition raises funds to build the Waterville Community Dental Center (WCDC) at 93 Main Street in downtown Waterville.
2000-2007: With one dentist and two hygienists, WCDC delivers a full range of oral health services to the community and sees more than 2,000 patients a year.
2007-2009: WCDC responds to an unmet demand for services by adding three additional operatories to the four already in place. A second dentist and a third hygienist join the staff. With increased space and staffing, over 3,500 patients a year are seen.
2009-2018: By 2018, over 14,000 patients have been seen and twice a year on-site services to over 300 children in 11 area Head Start programs are being provided.
2018-2019: Because of downtown redevelopment, WCDC must relocate from its original site of 18 years. With support of the local community, including foundation grants and individual donations, a new building is located, renovations are completed, existing equipment moved, and new equipment installed. In January 2019, WCDC begins to see patients in its new space at 2 Evergreen Drive in First Park. Two new operatories have been added to expand capacity.