Lafene teams up with Manhattan Tech for free dental clinic

Lafene will host a dental clinic on Feb. 26. (Alex Todd | Collegian Media Group)

Lafene Health Center is hosting a dental clinic for students with Manhattan Area Technical College hygienists on Feb. 26. Manhattan Tech’s hygienists are providing screenings, cleanings and fluoride treatments for Kansas State students.

It was completely booked after three days.

Lafene’s marketing and communications specialist, Shawn Funk, helped organize the event that is completely free for K-State students.

“Lafene is actually paying a fee for each student that gets the exam done,” Funk said.

With no fees for students, there are also many other benefits of the dental clinic and a demand for dental cleaning services.

“We are listening to people,” Funk said. “We thought it would be a good idea to provide dental care for students. You know, sometimes they get away from home and just don’t go to the dentist and so this is a great opportunity for them to come and do it at no cost to them.”

Tony Kim, clinic coordinator at Manhattan Tech, is a K-State alumnus excited to see Lafene again and work with K-State students.

“It’s a safe place to go and get these kind of health services,” Kim said. “A lot of students, unless something hurts, they’re not too worried about it. … This is something where it’s kind of low-stress and we’re going to give you everything up to even just identifying if you need fillings and stuff like that.”

Director of dental hygiene at Manhattan Tech, Kylie Austin, sees benefits for K-State students and her Manhattan Tech students.

“A big part of it is the hands-on part where they actually practice on their patients,” Austin said. “To be able to walk into this setting and have a handful of patients waiting for them that they can see one day, that’s just going to give them really valuable experience as well.”

Setting up in Lafene’s conference room, Manhattan Tech will bring all the dental equipment there for the day, which Austin described as a type of portable clinic.

“We receive grant funding from Delta Dental of Kansas,” Austin said. “So one of the years that we applied for the grant we applied for portable equipment. That allowed us to buy a portable chair that packs up into a nice little carrying-case, but then you unfold it and it looks just like a dental chair. We have units that, again, pull like a suitcase but then you open it up and on all of the supplies you need are right there.”

If you did not get an appointment in this time around, Manhattan Tech has a fully operational clinic open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“I know that’s not quite as convenient but we still have the really reduced prices and discounts for students,” Austin said.

Lafene and Manhattan Tech are also discussing another date this semester for the dental clinic.

“I would just keep my eye out because we are hoping to do another one, hopefully in April,” Funk said. “That’s our plan if we can get a scheduled date with them.”