Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Delta Dental invests in NIC

| March 18, 2023 1:00 AM

Representatives from Delta Dental of Idaho visited North Idaho College on Thursday, March 2 to celebrate the newly opened dental hygiene clinic with the program director, faculty and students.

North Idaho College launched a two-year dental hygiene program in January 2021 to help meet the dental industry workforce needs in service to the community.

The first cohort of students graduated in December and the second cohort of 15 students started their journey this January.

“The program was created in response to the dental industry’s need for a qualified workforce,” NIC Dental Hygiene Program Director Janis McClelland said. “NIC has been able to create opportunities for students to be trained and develop the skills needed to become registered dental hygienists. It is a genuine collaboration with local dentists and hygienists.”

NIC’s vision was to have a clinic located on the Coeur d’Alene campus. Through the partnerships with the dental community, an opportunity quickly emerged when Delta Dental of Idaho reached out to North Idaho College and said, “How can we help?”

Delta Dental of Idaho created an annual scholarship for dental hygiene students and provided $243,000 to purchase the chairs and operatories needed to equip the dental clinic, opening the door for NIC’s vision to quickly become a reality. Delta Dental of Idaho’s investment further provided the leverage for NIC to successfully acquire an external grant that funded the remodel of an existing building, Winton Hall, to create the dental hygiene clinic on NIC’s Coeur d’Alene campus.

The clinic serves as a learning laboratory for students in the dental hygiene and dental assistant programs. The facility allows students to receive hands-on training and complete their clinical rotations on campus, supervised by local dentists, hygienists and program instructors. The dental assistant program, offered through the NIC Workforce Training Center, also utilizes the facility to train students.

Delta Dental of Idaho is a nonprofit organization investing over $2 million each year to provide valuable community outreach programs for Idaho students and aging adults.

"We’re committed to supporting the education of oral health care professionals and increasing access to quality oral health care for more Idahoans," Delta Dental of Idaho Director of Oral Health and Community Outreach Heather Brown said. “Along with providing our community with future dental hygienists, the NIC Dental Hygiene Clinic also provides affordable dental services to the Coeur d’Alene community.”

For more information about clinics or to make an appointment, call 208-929-4002 or email

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