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By: Coplin Health SystemsFebruary 13, 2023

School-Based Wellness Centers’ Portable Dental Unit Q&A

Are you familiar with Coplin Health Systems’ School-Based Wellness Centers? At these locations, dental services are offered exclusively to students. We sat down with Merinda Birkett, RDH to discuss the Portable Dental Unit and how it is beneficial for the students of our partner schools.

What is the Portable Dental Unit?

The Portable Dental Unit is a portable clinic which allows children to receive preventative dental healthcare including; cleanings, fluoride, screenings, and sealants.

If I detect a suspicious area, then I refer them to a dentist to have that addressed.

How can the students be referred to the dentist?

Students will need to submit a School-Based Health Enrollment form filled out by their parent or guardian. Usually, those are given out on the first day of school or at the beginning of the school year.

How does the School-Based Health Enrollment form help you proceed with referral?

After each appointment it is recommend the patient follow up with a local dentist for a comprehensive exam. If a suspicious area is found the dental hygienist will send home a letter, letting the parent know where it was found.  We provide them with a list of dentists, including some we have collaborative agreements with.

What if a patient doesn’t have dental insurance?

Coplin offers a Sliding Fee Scale financial assistance program to patients who are uninsured or underinsured. Typically fees are reduced or adjusted to fit a person’s income level. These programs ensure that patients can be seen by a medical professional without paying the full amount.

Which counties does the portable unit travel to?

Our portable dental unit travels to a few different counties – Meigs County, Ohio, Jackson County, WV, and Wirt County, WV.

What services can be offered to students?

Cleanings, fluoride, screenings, sealants, and occasional visits from our dentist, Dr. Wilson, who mostly provides services in Ohio.

Additionally, Coplin has recently received a grant from the West Virginia Oral Health Coalition, and the new equipment will help us to provide a better quality of dental care.

Can you tell us a little bit about the new Cari Vu machine?

The Cari Vu machine will help hygienists to better detect cavities more efficiently. While we can detect cavities with traditional instruments, this will provide us with a second opinion of sorts.


Merinda Birkett is seeing students at Wirt County Schools Wellness Center, Jackson County Schools Wellness Center, and Southern Local Schools Wellness Center. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call your child’s wellness center.



February 1, 2018

Coplin Welcomes Pediatric Physician

Dr. Cathy A. Dailey has joined our primary care staff as a pediatric physician. She is now seeing patients 18 and under at Parkersburg Family Care.

March 1, 2018

New Family Care Facility Opens in Parkersburg

Coplin Health Systems has opened a second family care clinic at 3705 Emerson Square in Parkersburg. For information, call 304.917.3530.

August 29, 2018

Coplin Health Systems Announces Departure of CEO, Derek Snyder, and Selection of Interim CEO

Coplin Health Systems and its Board are announcing that, effective September 7th, Derek Snyder, its CEO is departing the organization.