How to Find Affordable Tooth Care with a Dental School
Dental care is expensive, especially if you do not have dental insurance coverage. Regular dental examinations, twice annually, including x-rays, tooth cleaning and filling cavities, can easily take a significant portion of your family’s monthly income. Multiply this by the number of people in your family and you can see that providing dental care, while necessary, may be beyond your financial reach. Finding a dental school primary care clinic to visit can solve your problem.
Type of Dental Care
Many dental schools provide general clinics that function to provide real-life experience for their dental students and a place for you and your family to obtain basic dental care at a reduced cost. These schools house comprehensive clinics that provide up-to-date dental care for children and adults. Normally, second, third and fourth year dental students perform dental procedures under faculty supervision, ensuring that every facet of your care is being properly carried out.
Finding a Dental School Clinic
Dental schools providing patient clinics are available in several locations throughout the U.S. Call a local dentist’s office to ask whether a dental school is located nearby, or search the internet under “dental schools” in your state. Once you have identified locations near you, call the school’s Patient Services program for information and an appointment. Keep in mind that, in addition to having fixed locations offering specialized services, larger schools often provide mobile vans that visit underserved areas. Be sure to ask whether such a unit exists and visits your community.
Does the Clinic Meet Your Needs?
The dental school patient clinic you choose should meet your needs as well as those of your family. If someone in your family has a fear of dental procedures, the clinic you choose should provide “sedation dentistry,” allowing your family member to be sedated while undergoing a dental procedure. Dental schools teach their students about the different dental specialties, such as endodontics, orthodontics and oral surgery. These specialties are also provided in the dental school patient clinics.
Your Initial Dental Exam
Dental school patient clinics operate much like regular dental practices. On your first visit, you will establish a medical history. The dental student assigned to your care discusses your dental history and overall health, checks your vital signs, examines your head and neck and conducts an oral cancer screening. You will likely undergo a full set of dental x-rays and a dental screening.