ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – Two Utah-based universities cut the rope and unveiled their newly renovated dental clinics, Friday.
On March 19, Dixie State University and the University of Utah unveiled their renovated dental clinics during a ribbon-cutting ceremony in hopes to bring awareness to oral health care services that are now available to the Southern Utah community.
According to officials, the renovation included “adding the University of Utah School of Dentistry’s full dental clinic to the oral health care education.”
Located at the Russell C. Taylor Health Sciences Center on the Dixie State campus, the clinics are to provide students with “hands-on learning experiences while offering discounted dental care to underserved populations.”
“The DSU Public Dental Hygiene Clinic and the University of Utah School of Dentistry Clinic in St. George serve as a safety net for community members who experience barriers to accessing professional oral healthcare,” Brenda Armstrong, program director of Dental Hygiene, shares. “In return, our students are provided with a world-class educational experience to achieve their goals. It is a win-win for students and patients.”
Officials say as students practice training and demonstrate competency in clinical services they are placed under the extensive supervision of licensed faculty and professionals.
“Today we celebrate collaboration at its finest. We acknowledge the power of joining forces around a shared goal: caring for communities in need across the state of Utah,” chimes Dr. Wyatt R. Hume, dean of the University of Utah School of Dentistry.
Root for Kids, the Doctor’s Volunteer Clinic, and Workforce Services are collaborating with the program to help further reach vulnerable populations.
These populations include: the elderly, blind, and TAM Medicaid-eligible residents of Southern Utah.
“This experience motivated me to further volunteer my skills and time within the community. Many people wouldn’t receive dental care if it weren’t for our clinics,” adds Brette Barney, an alumna of Dixie State’s Dental Hygiene program who worked with a 12-year-old boy who suffered from severe pain and had tooth decay on almost every tooth.
Clinic renovations include the following:
- A revamped dental hygiene therapy space
- Expansion of the sterilization rooms
- Better equipped workrooms and labs
- 3-D imaging and Panorex Radiograph Machine
“Midmark Corporation Dental Division was the major donor who made the improvements possible and Ultradent Products donated significant support,” officials share. “Henry Schein Dental, Patterson Dental and VCBO Architects were instrumental in finishing the project on time and on budget. “
To learn more about Dixie State University’s Public Dental Hygiene Clinic, visit health.dixie.edu/dental-hygiene/clinic.