LA JUNTA - A new specialty dental clinic expected to serve people who otherwise would have to travel long distancnes receive specialty dental care will open in November.
Oral surgery services will be provided upon the clinic's opening, with specialty pediatric dental services offered in the coming months.
The clinic, which will be housed at the Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center, will open with maxillofacial and oral surgery provided by Dr. Justin Bley.
Bley is an oral surgeon with Amos Associates in Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery in Colorado Springs.
Bley, who grew up in Greeley, graduated from Temple Dental School completing his residency training at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
The new clinic was developed by collaborative support from The Caring for Colorado Foundation, the Colorado Health Foundation, Otero Junior College Child Development Services and the Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center.
Kristin Lund, a dental health consultant for OJC Child Development Services who helped write the grants for the clinic, said many rural Colorado areas lack availability and accessibility to specialty oral health services, with the Lower Arkansas Valley being one of those areas.
Lund said while there are local dentists available along U.S. 50, few provide extensive specialty services. "Community residents must travel 60 to 160 miles to obtain specialty dental treatment and often encounter barriers such as transportation, finance, and language-preventing them from following through with their needed dental care," said Lund.
Lund noted that the addition of oral health services to the hospital's specialty program has the full support of the private dentists in the La Junta area.
"The services offered at the hospital will not compete with the local dentists or the existing community health center. It will serve as a source of care for individuals requiring specialty dental services, general anesthesia or other sedation for dental procedures," said Lund.
Bley will be traveling to AVRMC a few days each month to provide maxillofacial and oral surgery services. Services provided by Bley are the removal of wisdom teeth and surgical extractions of other teeth.
Bley specializes only in oral surgery and does not provide general dental services. He accepts a variety of private insurance plans as well as Medicaid for persons 21 years old and younger.
Lynn Crowell, AVRMC Chief Executive Officer said the new program will provide a complete health care approach to the facility.
"In collaboration with The Caring for Colorado Foundation and OJC's Child Development Services, the Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center is excited to bring oral health services to our facility," he said.
Jim Rizzuto, Otero Junior College president, and president of the OJC-CDS board of directors, said the new grant partnership will help address one of the most common problems in children--the lack of oral health care, which leads to other health care problems if not addressed at an early age.
"I am very supportive of this grant partnership with AVRMC and excited to see how two local organizations working together can provide important services to a community," said Rizzuto.
To schedule an appointment with Bley, call his office at (719) 384-0338. Bley will begin seeing dental patients Nov. 11.