Hygienist to open Oak Creek practice | SteamboatToday.com

Hygienist to open Oak Creek practice

Angel Henry plans to clean up South Routt '1 mouth at a time'

Blythe Terrell

Angel Henry will open South Routt Dental Hygiene in Oak Creek. She will offer services such as teeth cleaning, X-rays, oral cancer screenings and exams.

— Dental care is coming to southern Routt County, courtesy of a woman who’s spent the past few years doing the work on dogs.

Angel Henry plans to open South Routt Dental Hygiene on May 4 in Oak Creek. She’ll offer services such as teeth cleaning, X-rays, oral cancer screenings and exams. Henry will operate out of the South Routt Medical Center and said she’d accept most insurance providers. She’s been a dental hygienist for 12 years and moved to Oak Creek in 2007.

“Colorado’s one of those states where a hygienist can have her own practice,” Henry said. “Oak Creek hasn’t had any sort of dental anything for years, so when we moved here a few years ago, I became a dog hygienist. : I saw the need for people and looked into the laws for what I needed to do and decided to start the practice for people.”

Colorado lawmakers loosened the rules for dental hygienists this session. Gov. Bill Ritter signed a bill Wednesday allowing hygienists to anesthetize patients, take X-rays and offer teeth bleaching trays without the direct supervision of a dentist. That means the hygienist must work with a dentist but that person needn’t be on the premises, Henry said.

She said she’d like to draw a dentist to her area.

“I’m trying to bring a dentist to South Routt, and they can use my equipment,” Henry said. “Nobody’s been interested because it would probably have to be on their day off, and no one wants to do that.”

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For now, she said she is pleased to provide the service to South Routt.

“I thought, ‘Well, I can clean it up, one mouth at a time,'” Henry said.

She plans to be open Mondays through Wednesdays at the clinic. She’ll continue cleaning dogs’ teeth the first Saturday and the first and last Thursdays of each month. Henry rents space at Mount Werner Veterinary Hospital in Steamboat Springs for that service.

Tina Holliday, office manager at the South Routt Medical Center, has worked to help Henry get set up.

“So far, she’s been just great to work with,” Holliday said.

Holliday lives outside Oak Creek. People have expressed interest in dental services in the area, she said.

“Several people have commented that it would be a nice addition,” Holliday said.

The family practice clinic offers children’s sports physicals and general health care, she said.

Henry already has a couple of appointments, and she’s offering specials to Medical Center staff and board members this week to break in her high-tech equipment.

“It’s exciting,” Henry said “I’m nervous and anxious and sick to my stomach. This is my first real big business, and doing something good for the community, it feels right. I know I’m doing the right thing, and everything’s falling into place perfectly.”

Hygienist opens Monday

South Routt Dental Hygiene will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays at the South Routt Medical Center, 300 Main St. in Oak Creek. The practice opens Monday. Call 819-9709 for information or appointments.