Dental school to offer free care for some

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Beau Bowman, [email protected]

Free dental care will soon be available for a select number of students.

The University of Iowa College of Dentistry Class of 2016 will perform free dental treatments for UI students next month.

In order to qualify, students must have small cavities or gum disease that require fillings or a deep cleaning. The free treatment is part of the requirements for dental students to pass the National Dental Board Exam.

Every year, the UI dental school promotes the event because students must complete the licensure exam, which is overseen by the state.

The National Dental Board Exam consists of three different treatments, which include a three surface filling, a two surface filling, and a deep cleaning of one quadrant of the mouth.

Michael Kanellis, the associate dean for patient care in the dental school, said the process could take longer for those getting their teeth treated by someone who is still a student.

“They’re ready for this, most of them are headed into private practice soon, but there will be lots of checking,” he said. “The board examiners will check all of the treatments after the student is done, which can take some time. We really appreciate all of our customers who come out to have their teeth treated.”

He said the dental school is the only medical profession in which students preform their licensure exam on live patients and that there have not been any bad experiences with it.

Executive Director of the Iowa Dental Board Jill Stuecker noted that the school is the only one to use live patients.

“A patient-based exam is the national standard,” she said. “Forty-seven of the 50 states abide by this. To be able to receive your license, you need to go through this exam. If you think about it, doctors have to go through residency, which is patient based too. We believe our patients deserve professional help at the highest quality.

Receiving the cleaning and fillings at the exam ends up saving the patients a great deal of money. Prices can range anywhere between $84 to $152 for a filling and $85 to $220 to clean one quadrant of their mouth.

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