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SIU School of Dental Medicine

Special Needs Dental Care

Since January 2015, the School of Dental Medicine has been engaged in a comprehensive and ambitious effort – the Special Needs Dental Care Program – to increase oral health services for special needs children.  The Special Needs Dental Care Program is focused on serving low-income children who have cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and other neurological disorders and genetic syndromes, as well as children with heightened anxiety due to age or other factors. 

The Special Needs Dental Care Program provides an affordable dental care option for families with no place else to turn.  It is the only program in Illinois outside Chicago that offers dental anesthesia for children on Medicaid. 

In most cases, the children treated through the Special Needs Dental Care Program are severely traumatized by the time they are referred to the program.  Upon an initial evaluation, children are often found to have extensive tooth decay, often requiring extraction or extensive rehabilitation.  In these cases, the child is frequently experiencing considerable pain.  In turn, the child is not eating well or sleeping well, and likely, not performing well in school as a result.

Your gift will directly support the Special Needs Dental Care Program and allow the School to continue to provide much needed dental care for special needs children who likely would not have otherwise had access to the care they need.  Your generosity will have an amazing positive impact on the children who receive treatment through this important program.

Financial Goal: $100,000 in 18 months


Dental Student Scholarship Support

In the fall of 2015, the School of Dental Medicine enjoyed the opportunity to designate three students from the School as the first recipients of the newly established Dean’s Scholarship. Each of the dental students was awarded a $5,000 scholarship.  The Dean’s Scholarship was created as an annual dental student scholarship support endeavor with the goal of rewarding academic merit; assisting with financial need; and increasing student diversity at the School.

Federal and state support for dental education has declined dramatically in recent years. In turn, the cost of tuition has increased. One result of this progression is that debt for dental students has continued to accelerate at a significantly faster rate than the real net income of practicing dentists. In short, dental education is becoming less affordable at a time when more dentists are needed to serve the population. Tuition costs and post-graduate debt may discourage talented students from pursuing dental careers.

Your gift will help us continue to ensure that the SIU School of Dental Medicine remains affordable and accessible to talented and motivated students.  Your generosity will directly support dental student scholarships and allow the School to guarantee significant scholarship assistance for deserving dental students. 

Financial Goal: $50,000 in 18 months


For more information:
Stephen Schaus, Director of Development, (618) 474‑7271

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