When money is tight, it seems easy to let some things go. Dental care seems to be one of those things. Because it doesn't appear as critical unless there's a problem, and dental care is expensive--especially without insurance--a visit to the dentist may elude some people for years.
The Arizona Department of Health Services provided the following statistics about Arizona's oral health to the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health in Mesa:
Arizonans have a higher rate of oral disease than the national average. Both Arizona children and seniors are part of the growing underserved indicated by alarming statistics including:
- 30% of Arizona children have no dental insurance
- 52%% of Arizona children have a history of tooth decay. The national average is 36%.
- Lower income schools (schools with a high percentage of the students eligible for the national school lunch program) have a significantly higher prevalence of decay experience and untreated decay compared to higher income schools.
- American Indian and Hispanic children have a significantly higher prevalence of decay experience and untreated decay compared to non-Hispanic white children.
- 29% of older adults receiving home-delivered meals and eating at meal sites in Arizona said they had dental work done outside the U.S. Almost one fourth (73%) had the work done in Mexico.
Statistics provided as of 2015.
The Schools and Clinics
- AT Still University: Arizona's first dental school opened in 2003. Anyone who does not have a comprised health condition (for example, unusually high blood pressure) qualifies for dental care. A visit with a student dentist costs about half what it would cost for a regular dental visit. Specific fees will be outlined for each patient prior to treatment. Licensed doctors and specialists perform x-rays, mouth examinations and review oral health history. Procedures are performed by 3rd and 4th-year dental students under close supervision of licensed faculty dental specialists.
- Bob & Renee Parsons Dental Clinic: Housed at the the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix in South Central Phoenix, the Bob & Renee Parsons Dental Clinic provides dental care at a very low cost to economically disadvantaged children aged 5 to 18 years who do not qualify for dental insurance. The clinic is a full-service facility providing comprehensive oral examinations, x-rays, cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealant, fillings, extractions, root canals, and emergency treatments. The Clinic is open Tuesday through Friday.
- Mesa Community College Dental Hygiene Clinic: The Mesa Community College Dental Hygiene clinic offers a full range of comprehensive dental hygiene services at fees less than most private dental practices. The Dental Hygiene clinic sees patients from late August through mid-May in the evenings, Monday through Thursday. East Mesa.
- Midwestern University Dental Institute: The Midwestern University Dental Institute provides quality care while training the next generation of dental healthcare providers. The team of university faculty and students uses the latest technology and treatment to provide quality care at about half the price. Dentists overseeing patient care have an average of 20 years of experience in private practice. Midwestern University has three community clinics in Glendale, Arizona: Dental Institute, Eye Institute, and the Multispecialty Clinic.
- Phoenix College Dental Hygiene Clinic: If you are a new patient, or it has been over two years since your last visit, your first visit will be for screening purposes only. At this appointment, a supervised dental hygiene student will gather data to determine your eligibility to receive dental hygiene care at the clinic. The facility is closed approximately five months per year (winter, spring and summer breaks and all other observed holidays). Central Phoenix.
- Rio Salado College Dental Clinic: The school offers reduced price dental cleanings. Monday through Friday. Tempe.
All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.