March 30, 2011

Dentistry offers $20 exams during Husky Dental Month

“The School of Dentistry clinics? You can get your teeth cleaned there, right?”

Right…and very, very incomplete. Someone on campus made that comment to a Dentistry faculty member recently, and it hit a nerve.

Fourth-year dental student Nicole Murray treats a patient under the supervision of Dr. William Kirschner.

Steve Steinberg

Fourth-year dental student Nicole Murray treats a patient under the supervision of Dr. William Kirschner.

Long regarded as one of the premier centers of dental education, the school offers much more than cleanings and fillings. It has 16 clinics that provide every kind of dental care: general dentistry, oral surgery, implants, periodontics (gum care), endodontics (root canals), orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, oral medicine and more.

In addition, the school offers dental care for medically complex patients (such as transplant candidates or people with cancer). It also boasts unique services such as the Dental Fears Research Clinic, which provides dental care while treating patients dental phobias.

“We want to get the message out across campus that were a convenient place for the UW community to get all its dental care,” said Dr. Dan Chan, Associate Dean for Clinical Services.

To that end, the school has scheduled Husky Dental Month from April 15 to May 15 at its pre-dental student clinic. During that time, anyone with a valid UW ID – faculty, staff or student – can get a dental screening and treatment plan for just $20. If X-rays are needed, the screening fee is applied to the cost.

“We hope Husky Dental Month can help the UW community learn more about the variety of clinical care we provide,” Dr. Chan said. In the pre-dental clinic, third-year and fourth-year students perform screenings and dental procedures under rigorous faculty supervision. When treatment is performed, students are not given cases beyond their technical abilities, he said. More complex cases are referred to the schools graduate specialty clinics or to a clinic such as the UW Dentists faculty practice.

Another misconception, Dr. Chan said, is that the school provides free treatment. Unfortunately, thats not the case; treatment is performed only on a fee-for-service basis. However, the school does accept dental insurance and sets its fees at an affordable level, with the pre-dental clinic fees among the schools lowest.

During Husky Dental Month, UW patients will be seen on designated afternoons during the week. Appointments are required; to schedule one or get more details, call 206-616-6996.

The School of Dentistry is located in the Magnuson Health Sciences Center, which also houses the UW Medical Center. The pre-dental student clinic is on the third floor of D wing.