November 2010, Volume 14, Number 5

Academics

Teamwork Boosts Community Dental Care

MDC’s Dental Hygiene Clinic recently partnered with Nova Southeastern University’s School of Dental Medicine to offer community members a more affordable, full-service preventive care facility. The Clinic, which is part of MDC’s Dental Hygiene program, will provide an opportunity for MDC students to work alongside fourth-year NSU students as they offer a complete range of dental services at reduced costs.

“Patients who come to our clinic have extensive dental needs, and we used to refer them to other public health facilities,” said Dr. Susan Kass, professor and program coordinator for MDC’s Dental Hygiene program. “But there were very long waiting lists or eligibility requirements in order to be a patient at these facilities, so the community needs remained and grew over the years, especially with this challenging economy.”

Six NSU students treat patients at the Dental Hygiene Clinic one day a week and serve approximately 24 patients per day.

The partnership, which started in September, received financial support for start-up costs from the Health Foundation of South Florida, and the Hu-Friedy dental instrument company provided several thousand dollars worth of instruments.

The main goal of the partnership is to meet patient needs, regardless of their eligibility, Kass said. Dental hygiene services are offered for $20 and additional dental treatments are provided at about a third to half of the cost charged by private practices.

— NM


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