A free dental care clinic for people with barriers to getting dental care will take place on Sept. 7-8. Go to www.mnmom.org for details. For people who may not be low-income but lack adequate insurance to cover dental needs, try one of the many local schools that trains dentists, hygienists and dental assistants. By helping to train dental professionals-in-training, consumers save 30 to 70 percent compared to most dental offices.
The downside? Getting an appointment may require an extended wait period except for emergencies. Once patients get an appointment, time in the clinic will be longer than at the dentist's office due to student training. Dental students' work needs to be supervised and most students work slower than experienced dental pros.
Here's a list of Twin Cities schools for dental assistants, hygienists and dentists.
DENTAL ASSISTANT/HYGIENIST SCHOOLS
Argosy University dental hygiene clinic (1515 Central Pkwy., 3rd floor, Eagan, 651-846-3381) Prices: Adult cleaning $36, child/senior cleaning $15-$18, full mouth X-rays $40, bitewing X-rays $20/4, root planing $40 per quadrant or $20/seniors, sealants $10 per tooth, fluoride treatment $10 and custom-made teeth whitening trays $100. Opens Sept. 6 for patients.
Hennepin Technical College dental assistant program (9000 Brooklyn Blvd., Brooklyn Park, 763-488-2569, and 13100 College View Dr., Eden Prairie, 952-995-1633). Prices: Polishing and fluoride $15, full mouth X-rays $10, sealants $5 per tooth. The clinic re-opens for appointments in January.
Herzing University dental hygiene clinic (435 Ford Rd., Suite 117, St. Louis Park, 763-231-3174). Prices: Adult cleaning and polishing $36, child cleaning and polishing $20, scaling/root planing $30 per quadrant, periodontal maintenance $40, two to four bitewing X-rays $10 to $20, full mouth X-rays $36, panoramic films $36, Patients 60 and older receive a 50% discount. Accepting patients for cleaning only starting in Sept. Other services start in Jan.
Century College dental hygiene program (3300 Century Av. N., White Bear Lake, 651-779-5787). Prices: The program charges for a treatment plan (about $25 to $50) rather than by the service. Patients younger than 18 years and older than 62 are charged $24 for a treatment plan. Services offered include X-rays, cleaning, scaling and root planing, sealants, fluoride treatment and desensitizing treatment. For appointments, call the week of Aug. 27
Normandale Community College dental hygiene clinic (9700 France Av. S., Bloomington, 952-358-8608). Prices: Adult cleaning $40, child cleaning $20, full mouth X-rays $40, 4 bitewings $20, sealants $10 per tooth, free fluoride treatments, periodontal therapy $10 per quadrant. Appointments are being taken now for availability starting Sept. 4
University of Minnesota School of Dentistry (515 Delaware St. SE., Mpls., 612-625-2495). Prices: Generally about 30 percent less than dentists. Examples: Exam and full mouth X-rays and treatment plan $175, cleaning $55, tooth-colored fillings starting at $135, simple extraction $140, root canal $410 to $625, crown $850, and surgically placed implant and crown $2,125. Prices can vary depending on complexity.