SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Springfield Technical Community College’s Dental Hygiene clinic is open to the public for free dental cleanings through the end of March.

Even for residents who visit the dentist like David Meehan, the service the clinic provides is well worth the checkup.

“Don’t be afraid to come here. You may spend an extra 15 or 20 minutes longer than you would at your regular dentist, but you get extremely good care,” Meehan said. “You get very thorough care and they also have your record from past experiences.”

According to the chair of the Valley District Dental Society, Dr. Martin Wohl, Springfield Tech has a long history of opening its clinic for free services, but it had to close its community dental days during the pandemic.

The impact of COVID-19 has highlighted affordable health, and for Dr. Wohl, his clinic provides some important relief.

“It’s been harder for folks, so given this opportunity now for complementary care instead, actually paying what was minimal to begin with has made it even more accessible to everybody,” Dr. Wohl said.

The hygiene clinic also allows Kaylynn Gaskill and her classmates in the dental assistant program an opportunity to put what they’ve learned to a practical use by helping people.

“It’s amazing to be able to help patients achieve a great smile, a healthier lifestyle, to maintain a very healthy oral hygiene,” Gaskill said. “So for me in this role, I’m very excited for what my future is and I can attest that for all my classmates.”