The Dental Hygiene program at El Centro provides dental hygiene services through a teaching clinic. Patients participating in the clinical setting are part of the teaching process.
For community members interested in using this service, your first appointment will be a free screening that takes approximately 30 minutes. During this time, you will complete the required paperwork and be informed of your acceptance as a patient. Clinics are held during the fall (August–December) and spring (January–May) semesters, as well as during the summer (June) session. All students are required to schedule and confirm their own patients. Patients not confirmed within 24 hours of their appointments may forfeit their appointments. Appointments are required (walk-in appointments are seldom available.)
The following services may be provided by Dental Hygiene students under supervision in the Dental Hygiene Clinic:
- Medical/dental history
- Vital signs (blood pressure, etc.)
- Oral inspection and cancer screening
- Periodontal debridement (deep cleaning) and prophylaxis (cleaning teeth) with topical fluoride application
- Polish amalgam restorations (when indicated)
- Pit and fissure sealant application
- Application of desensitizing agents
- Radiographs (X-rays)
- Oral health education
- Study models
- Care of dental prostheses (cleaning dentures and partials)
- Nutritional advisement
- Infant oral health screening
- Monitoring of nitrous oxide sedation (if available)
- Placement of controlled release antimicrobials
- Smoking cessation assistance
- Teeth whitening
All dental hygiene services are provided free of charge, except for teeth whitening. Teeth whitening may be available following the completion of all dental hygiene treatment for a fee of $75.
Patients should have a dental exam at least once per year. Having your teeth cleaned in the El Centro Dental Hygiene Clinic is not a substitute for a regular visit to your dentist. Patients who require dental services beyond the scope of the dental hygiene services provided are referred to their private dentists or provided a list of community clinics in their areas.
If you are interested in becoming a patient or need additional information, please contact the Dental Hygiene Clinic at 214-860-2301 for a screening appointment.