Dr. Darcy the dentist returns to her roots in Summit County | SummitDaily.com

Dr. Darcy the dentist returns to her roots in Summit County

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Special to the Daily Recently-hired Summit Community Care Clinic dentist Darcy Rehn (right) at one time had her teeth cleaned by former hygienist turned community health coordinator Erin Major. The two are now colleagues, working together to improve Summit County's collective oral hygiene one mouth at a time.

FRISCO – Like so many college graduates, Darcy Rehn didn’t know what to do with her life after school. On the advice of her mother, Rachel, the Summit County native applied for dental school with little faith she would be accepted.

“I heard how difficult it was to get in, with all the tests you have to take,” she said. “I didn’t think I’d make it on my first try.”

But she did. And she graduated shortly thereafter from the University of Colorado’s School of Dental Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora.

While at the school, Rehn worked three rotations at the Summit Community Care Clinic (SCCC) at the Summit Medical Office Building in Frisco. The nonprofit had recently moved into the new facility, and with its expanded space, SCCC added a dental program – including two full-service dental rooms.

Rehn was fortunate when she graduated this time that SCCC had a full-time opening for a dentist. With a collegiate focus on public health and experience working in the clinic, Rehn was the ideal candidate for the opening, and on July 5 she returned to SCCC as one of two staff dentists.

“It was a natural fit,” she said. “I was really lucky to get my Plan A.”

Now Rehn is giving back to the community that gave her so much. She was educated in the Summit County School District and even took prerequisite courses at Colorado Mountain College before attending dental school.

“I can remember cleaning her teeth when she was growing up,” said SCCC Community Health Coordinator Erin Major, who at one time was an oral hygienist.

The clinic’s mission is to provide primary health care to Summit County residents and workers, and part of that mission is accomplished through the clinic’s dental program. Whereas many other clinics have limited dental help, SCCC can provide the full gamut of services short of implants and oral surgery. And even when a patient requires care beyond the clinic’s spectrum of services, SCCC works with dentists in the community to get patients the care they need.

“A lot of clinics can only drill, fill and pull, but we don’t say no,” said Major. “Whatever needs to be done, we’ll figure out a way to get there.”

Dentists like Dr. Karl Heggland and Dr. Andrew Crabill accept clients from the clinic on a reduced fee schedule for oral surgery and orthopedic work, respectively. Area dentists also participate in an adopt-a-student program, where they take on one or two needy children each year and provide the full spectrum of dental services at a greatly reduced rate.

Rehn also relies on dentists throughout the community for professional support. She works a few days each month at the office of Breckenridge Mayor and local dentist Dr. John Warner. Rehn believes area dentists have provided her with a great deal of support because many of them have known her since she was a child.

“We feel her relationship with the community is a huge asset,” Major said.

While Rehn will continue to split time between Warner’s office and the clinic, she has no plans to move on to her own practice any time soon.

“I find it rewarding that the people who come here really need and are grateful for dental service,” Rehn said. “It’s not just, ‘I want whiter teeth,’ or anything like that.”

The clinic is happy to have Rehn as long as she is willing to stay.

“Being a recent graduate, she’s brought a lot of fresh ideas here, and we couldn’t be happier to have her,” said Major.

SDN Reporter Drew Andersen can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or drewa@summitdaily.com.

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