CALUMET — A lack of dental insurance and prohibitive costs prevent many — especially those in low–income households — from getting the care they need.

The Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center is hoping to help increase access to oral healthcare thanks to some funding from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. The group recently announced the upcoming addition of dental services to the Calumet Family Health Center.

“These dental services are available to everyone in the community,” said Administrative Director Elise Bur. “We will accept private insurance as well as Medicaid [and] Medicare. We will focus as well on those who are underinsured or uninsured.”

The clinic expects to offer preventative and restorative care as well as referrals. The Sawyer Family Health Center at K.I. Sawyer started a similar program earlier this year.

“We’ve seen already approximately 500 patients since we opened the clinic in January,” Bur added. “It’s going to be tremendous having these services available in Calumet for that community. There’s a dire need for that right now.”

Upper Great Lakes hopes the dental services will be up and running in the next three to six months. Theirs is the only health center in the U.P. — and one of fifteen in the entire state — to receive this award.