By Scott Jones
(Oct. 9, 2014) - Want to find high-quality dental care at a significant discount? Let the students do the work!
“Dentistry is a very personal occupation. You are right there in somebody’s face the whole time. And you have to learn how to be comfortable with that yourself, and help the patients be comfortable,” said Matt Wilson, who's in his fourth year at the IU School of Dentistry.
He tells FOX59 it's a good place for students and patients, and they have an excellent program.
After training, the students get to work on patients. Vanchit John, chairman of periodontics at IUPUI, says what students are allowed to do depends on how much training they've received. Getting into the school isn't easy.
“On an average year, we have about 1,500 to 1,600 applicants for about 104 positions. Of the 104 who make it, they're extremely well qualified, extremely smart, ethical and conscientious,” said John.
If you are looking for a dentist, and are concerned about your budget, the savings can be up to 75% off a typical visit. Keep in mind, because they're students, it’s not your typical visit.
“It does take a lot longer than if you're going to a private practice. But I think the benefits of that are, you're getting really thorough care. We also spend a lot of time on patient education so they know how to best take care of their teeth,” said Lauren Chilman, a dental hygienist student at IUPUI.
For patients who are worried about having a student do the work, all students are carefully supervised.
“Every step of the way in everything we do in the clinic is verified and overseen by a doctor. And so you're constantly getting to learn side by side with the doctors. It's really been a great experience for me,” said Wilson.
The school works like a regular dental office. They take appointments, accept insurance and do exams. The students do the work and perform all levels of dentistry, including the most complicated procedures.
“So in that case, they've already completed four years of undergraduate schooling, and two years of training in the lab as well as in lecture and seminar. And only then do they start to work on patients,” said John.
The IU School of Dentistry is located at 1121 W. Michigan St, Indianapolis, IN 46202. The phone number is (317) 274-7957.