How to Use Dental Schools for Service

Becoming a dentist requires both academic coursework and hands-on training. Dental schools need patients to help students practice dental procedures, offering to the community quality dental services at a much lower cost than a dentist's office. If you are considering using a dental school for service, an instructor will examine the student's work as he works on your mouth, ensuring that you receive the proper care.

Things You'll Need

  • Photo identification
  • Proof of Medicaid
  • Proof of insurance


    • 1

      Find an accredited dental school near you. The American Dental Association offers a listing of over 50 dental schools in the U.S. on their website, along with links to the schools' websites. Since each dental school has different patient admissions procedures, go to that school's website to learn exactly how to become a patient.

    • 2

      Go to an initial appointment at your selected dental school. Expect to spend an average of two to three hours at your appointment. The dental student and his supervisor will examine your teeth and gums, take x-rays as needed and direct you to fill out the necessary paperwork. Depending on the school's policies, you will likely need to bring photo identification and proof of Medicaid or insurance, if you have any. Your first visit may not include a cleaning or more invasive work.

    • 3

      Discuss your treatment and payment plan after your initial examination. The dental student and her supervisor will propose a course of treatment to meet your needs. Once you have agreed to the treatment plan, you may be directed to a person in charge of finances. Dental schools may not accept all insurance options, however the school may help you find a financing option if you cannot afford to pay the fees.

    • 4

      Go to your second appointment to receive dental services. Expect this appointment to take much longer than the typical dentist appointment. The supervisor will frequently check the dental student's work to ensure quality and safety. It may take as long as three hours for the completion of a simple procedure, such as a cleaning and whitening. Complex treatments, such as root canals and implant surgery, may take longer.

Tips & Warnings

  • At each appointment, inform your dentist or dental student of any medications you take or medical conditions you have. Drugs may affect your treatment.
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  • Photo Credit Dentist at work in dental room image by Vladimir Melnik from

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