OU College of Dentistry Offers Low-Cost Service for the Community


Sierra Rains-Moad

OU dental students are taking their skills to the mouths of actual patients in a student program that provides dental care for eligible members of the community.

In the OU College of Dentistry, students are able to treat patients under the direct supervision of faculty. Potential patients are screened beforehand to make sure their needs are not above the level of a dental student in a learning environment, said Amber Cantrell, third year dental student.

Cantrell said this program makes OU very strong in the clinical dentistry area compared to other dentistry colleges.

“We start seeing actual patients a lot sooner than a lot of colleges of dentistry, so we get more hands-on experience before we graduate, and I think they do a great job as far as what they require to graduate from here,” Cantrell said.

The price of treatment is one of the biggest differences between the college’s services and that of a normal dentist’s office, but this is at the expense of the patient’s time, Cantrell said.

“The cost for treatment here is about a third of what they would find in private practice, but the trade-off is their time — because it is an educational setting, things take a lot longer,” Cantrell said. “Most of our appointments are about three hours long, but they do receive a great result.”

Despite the fact that the dental service is provided in a learning environment, the quality of care provided remains up to par with that of any other dental service, Cantrell said.

“They go through very detailed steps, and we’re checked every step along the way, and it’s made sure that everything’s done to the best of our ability,” Cantrell said.