While dental work is something everyone needs at some point, it is not something everyone can afford. An ideal way to receive quality care while reducing cost is through local dental schools. Students in training to become dentists provide comprehensive services under the supervision of licensed dentists. This is a great way to receive the services needed at a fraction of the cost.
Locate Dental Schools
Look in the telephone directory for a listing of dental schools in your area. Many colleges offer courses and degrees in the dentistry field, and dental clinics, which are part of the college or university, are often conveniently located on the campus or nearby. Third- and fourth-year dental students provide the services. Dental schools accept a limited number of patients annually, based upon upcoming planned procedures and student needs. Each dental school maintains a procedure agenda, along with specific requirements that must be met for potential candidates. Discuss work you will need with the office and inquire about completing necessary paperwork. If you are accepted, the dental school will have you come in for a screening and examination, and then placed in the patient pool. Patients are then contacted based upon need. While you may be nervous about becoming the patient of a student, they perform these steps under the supervision of a licensed dentist working in the field, so their work is constantly monitored.
Log on to the website Dental Site http://www.dentalsite.com/dentists/densch.html, which provides a listing of dental schools within the United States. Find your state, or the state of the dental school you are interested in. Click on the link to go directly to its website. Read information pertaining to requirements for receiving dental services at the school. Contact information will be on the website in the event additional information is needed.
Watch for ads in local newspapers seeking patients for upcoming procedures at dental schools. Obtain contact information from the listing. Contact the dental school directly to determine what the requirements are to volunteer as a candidate. The school will clarify the necessary steps to take to participate. Determine if any financial commitment is involved. Dental students must have the hands-on-experience to pass National Board exams and become dentists.
Inquire about insurance that is accepted at any dental school you find. Schools accept a wide range of insurance, and because it is a learning institution, greater savings can be passed on to you.
Tips & Warnings
- Check training schedules at dental school to determine if opportunities for free dental work are available.
- Make sure that your insurance is accepted, and no recent insurance policies were dropped before receiving work.
- Ask about payment plans before receiving any dental work if you need financial assistance.
- Remain patient when looking for opportunities to receive dental work at schools. There are times when emergency work is needed, and you may need to go elsewhere, but if you have time this school visit can pay off financially. Dental work that takes an hour at a basic dental office, can average two to three hours at a dental school because the work needs to be carefully examined and approved by senior faculty.
- Always clarify what the procedure process is for work being done so you are clear on expectations.
- Photo Credit dental brush image by Miroslav Beneda from Fotolia.com
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