Dixie State University, University of Utah serve community in renovated dental clinics
ST. GEORGE, Utah — Bringing awareness to oral health care services available to the Southern Utah community, Dixie State University and the University of Utah unveiled their newly renovated dental clinics during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 19.
The renovation included adding the University of Utah School of Dentistry’s full dental clinic to the oral health care education and dental hygiene services the DSU Public Dental Hygiene Clinic has offered for more than 20 years. The clinics, located in the Russell C. Taylor Health Sciences Center on the Dixie State campus, 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, said. “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.”
Practicing under the supervision of licensed faculty and professionals, students receive extensive education and training and demonstrate competency in clinical services prior to serving the community.
“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,” said Dr. Wyatt R. Hume, dean of the University of Utah School of Dentistry.
The programs work with local organizations such as Root for Kids, the Doctor’s Volunteer Clinic and Workforce Services to reach vulnerable populations such as 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,” said 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.
The clinics’ renovations refreshed the dental hygiene therapy space, expanded the sterilization rooms and provided better workrooms and labs, including a 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. 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. For more information about the University of Utah School of Dentistry, visit dentistry.utah.edu.