SSU Dental Hygiene Clinic Currently Accepting Patients

Sarah Huston, Staff Reporter

Due to the recent COVID-19 shutdown, there are still some organizations that are behind schedule. For those in need of dental care, the Shawnee State University Dental Clinic is currently taking patients. SSU’s Dental Hygiene Program is an accredited program by the American Dental Association that provides dental hygiene care to all individuals and groups. Students in the dental program carry out all dental hygiene services allowed by Ohio law and help the community achieve optimal dental care at a low cost.

The clinic offers services like scaling and polishing of teeth, administration of appropriate pain control, dental x-rays (full-mouth surveys, individual periapical, bitewing-surveys, panographs), application of fluoride, application of pit and fissure sealants, patient education, nutritional counseling, and study models. The students in the program need patients to gain experience and learn more in their field. These students have always had some trouble with getting patients because of unexpected cancelations. According to Program Director Nancy Bentley, “Our students have always had issues when it comes to getting patients and I don’t think this has changed since COVID-19. [A] lot of students have been able to get their own patients.” Visit  to learn more about costs for dental services.

To keep up with CDC guidelines during the pandemic they are only able to schedule half the students in the clinic at a time to maintain social distancing. Director Bentley said that some changes had to be made like adding clinic hours to meet graduation and accreditation requirements. There are also some limitations to using instruments like the ultrasonic cleaning tool which uses aerosol. The clinic has also taken extra steps to protect the safety of the dental students and patients. Director Bentley said “We have always had our patients rinse with chlorhexidine” which is an oral rinse that decreases bacteria in the mouth. “In addition to what we’ve always done, the students are wearing face shields as part of their PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) and have been taking the temperatures of staff, dental students, and patients who also have to answer a questionnaire.”

“We are following all required guidelines and even a little more than the average dentist office as far as protection goes for patients and students” said Director Bentley. The SSU Dental clinic is working hard to protect everyone at the clinic. Oral health is an essential part of your overall health and well-being. To schedule an appointment call 740-351-3241.