310 Sansome Street
P.O. Box 729
Philipsburg, MT 59858
(406) 859-3271

Granite County Dental

Sharon Fillbach, Philipsburg Mail, February 24, 2016

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month
Granite County Dental has been busy during the month of February visiting 7 rural area schools with their oral health educational program and screening student’s teeth for possible problems. The Drummond Library hosted an educational event which was well attended over 100 students from Drummond and Hall learned about “Sugar” and the effect it can have on their teeth and health. The dental team also traveled to Ovando, Helmville, Elliston, Avon, Garrison and Gold Creek where they screened over 70 students who reside in these small rural communities. They also spent a day in Deer Lodge with other dentists and the” Sealants for Smiles” program where the combined efforts encountered over 250 students. The Students were screened for dental and oral health problems, sealants were placed on those who would benefit from this procedure, fluoride varnish was applied, and an oral health educational program was presented. The students also received a goody bag with a new toothbrush and dental floss. This program was all made possible through oral health grant programs.
The Granite County Dental Team has been working hard since 2009 when an Outreach HRSA Grant for $371,000 was won by Granite County Medical Center; the purpose of the grant was to bring dental care to Granite County, a rural area that had not seen dental services for over a decade. This service was started as a mobile service for Drummond and Philipsburg. The mobile service was a real boost to bring oral health awareness to all of the residents in Granite County. It soon became evident that a permanent fixed dental clinic was needed as the patient base was growing. Another grant was sought after and won in 2012 for $450,000. This 3yr grant enabled Granite County Medical Center to put in place a fixed two chair dental clinic, with all new equipment including a Panorex used for full mouth films. The clinic also has the benefit of becoming a service located at Granite County Medical Center, thus creating a “medical home” for Granite County and our neighbors. The clinic also added another dental day with services on Monday’s and Wednesday’s. In 2015 another grant was awarded for $600,000, this was an unprecedented to be selected for a 3rd HRSA OUTREACH GRANT FOR ORAL HEALTH. This grant enabled Granite County Dental to purchase a passenger van with handicapped accessibility to transport the dental team out to rural areas, transport patients to dental and medical appointments, and is also being used for our Long Term Care Resident Outings and Medical appointments out of town.
Our current Dental Team is Dr. Mark Messer, DMD, Dr. Greg Christensen, DDS, Lisa Metesh, RDH, Adda Bell DA and office manager, and Sharon Fillbach Program and Grant Director. We pride our selves on customer service, patient consulting, and professional dental services. We will work hard to find insurance plans, and workable payment plans to insure that everyone can have dental care in Granite County. We are available for dental appointments on Monday’s and Wednesday’s 8AM to 5PM. Dental Hygiene care is available on Wednesdays. Beginning in June we will be offering dental services on Fridays’ with our newest addition, Dr. Cyrus Larson, DMD, and his wife Sarah, RHD, we are excited to have them both become part of the Granite County Dental Team.
As I look back on the last 7 years of our program as project coordinator, I am extremely proud of our success in bringing oral health to our special valley in the mountains. Through the ups and downs of the economy, changes in health care both medical and dental, and our political environment we have managed to weather the storm and stay steady and strong. I also want to thank everyone for their support and believing in our mission “Keeping Granite County Smiling and Healthy” without you we would not have the wonderful facility that we have today. We look forward to continuing our dental services to you for many years to come. Sharon Fillbach, Dental Coordinator