The School of Dental Medicine has as its mission to educate highly-qualified and professional dentists who can meet the oral health needs of the population in Southern Illinois. Based in Alton, Ill., the School engages the community through its Dental Clinic and through its extensive Community and Preventative Dentistry Program.
The Dental Clinic is open to individuals wishing to become patients of this affordable and extensive service. Clinical providers include students, residents or fellows, supervised by faculty. Providers meet their clients’ dental needs at a reduced fee while providing outstanding service and treatment. The clinic offers a variety of treatments, including current advances in dental therapy. Located in the heart of historic Alton, the main clinic offers services to the greater St. Louis and southern Illinois regions. A further satellite clinic in East St. Louis makes services more available to those local residents.
In addition to providing therapy in a clinical setting, the School reaches out to area residents to enhance oral care services and health education for the St. Louis Metro East region. For instance, third and fourth-year students in community dentistry courses work together in teams to promote oral health awareness in Madison County schools. Teams visit K-12 settings to conduct needs assessment at the schools, make recommendations to administrators and provide oral health presentations in classrooms. Oral health screenings are also provided at local health fairs and other venues, including sites in East St. Louis and Senior Services Plus stations. Students give presentations to parents of children at a local Head Start, and they provide screenings and education to children at the Madison County Youth Detention Home. Further educational and screening is provided to individuals with special needs and elderly individuals in local nursing homes.