BANGOR (AP) – The Miles for Smiles mobile dental clinic that has provided routine cleanings, simple fillings and other basic dental services to thousand of low-income children in northern Maine has fallen victim to money problems.

The specially equipped blue recreational vehicle that first rolled into Bangor nearly five years ago is up for sale after serving its last patients Thursday in Presque Isle.

Officials say the public health program could no longer sustain financial losses brought on by hard economic times, high gas prices and low MaineCare reimbursements.

Another critical factor was the shortage of dentists in Maine. The mobile unit was staffed by dentists and hygienists from a Bangor clinic that faces a staff shortage of its own.

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