Home > Blog > October 2014 > Pima Medical Institute Provides Patients with Discounted Dental Care Year-round

Pima Medical Institute Provides Patients with Discounted Dental Care Year-round

Posted: October 24, 2014 by Elizabeth Baker

MESA, Ariz. (Oct. 24, 2014) – October is National Dental Hygiene Month, which serves as a good reminder to make an appointment with your dental healthcare provider. But for many, receiving regular oral healthcare is out of reach due to cost, and the longer a person waits to have dental care, the more likely they are to get cavities, tooth decay and gum disease.

To help increase access to care, Pima Medical Institute offers cleanings and other services at extremely discounted costs at three campuses—Houston, Albuquerque and Seattle—at its Community Dental Hygiene clinics.

Basic services, such as cleanings, X-rays and dental exams require no insurance and cost only $19.95 for those 15 and older and $14.95 for those 14 and younger. Deep cleanings, if necessary, are an additional $10 per quadrant.

Patients are seen by dental hygiene students while under the supervision of highly experienced dental hygienists and a licensed dentist. Those who need cleanings, exams and X-rays can be seen at Pima Medical Institute without insurance; however, the clinics do accept insurance.

It’s a win-win for both the patient and the student. Community members get the treatments they need, while students acquire the experience in patient care required to graduate. All students must have more than 700 hours of patient treatment time.

Pima Medical dental hygiene student Danielle Snyder works on a patient
Pima Medical Institute dental hygiene student Danielle Snyder works on a patient at the Seattle Community Dental Clinic on Oct. 16, 2014.

“We see a lot of dental decay and gum disease,” said Pima Medical Institute-Albuquerque Dental Hygiene Program Director Melissa McDougal-Plese, RDH, MS. “It’s due to lack of care and a lot of people don’t have dental insurance.”

“They’re teaching clinics, so patients are getting really great care under the supervision of the hygienist or dentist,” McDougal-Plese said.

Seattle dental hygiene student Chad Melton enjoys the variety of patients he sees at the clinic. Some have had recent dental care, while others have not.

“Some haven’t seen a dentist for many years, and those are the patients who provide me with a lot of learning opportunities,” he said. “My work is more beneficial to them and if they’re fearful of the dentist, I help them overcome that.”

Dental hygiene student Pamela McEachern will graduate from Pima Medical Institute-Albuquerque next March. In her experience, she sees a lot of gum disease due to lack of care. Brushing only once a day doesn’t combat dental problems, she said. Brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily and having your teeth cleaned at least every six months are necessary.

McEachern loves giving back to Albuquerque, where she was born and raised and gets a lot of gratification from helping patients.

“They are always so grateful for the services we provide,” McEachern said. “I grew up in a community that wasn’t very wealthy but we helped each other out. I get to continue that at Pima’s dental clinic.”

For Houston student Tamara Johnson, practicing in the clinic is her favorite part of the program at Pima Medical Institute. The hands-on work and patient interaction is preparing her for a career once she graduates.

“I’m getting the skills I’ll need and I get to implement what I learn in the classroom,” she said.
Students often have to recruit patients so that they may meet their graduation requirements. Seattle Dental Hygiene Program Director, Melisa McCannel, RDH, would like to see more people come into the clinic to improve their oral health.

“We always need more patients. Our students do a good job of going out and finding their patients however, there is a huge need out there for dental hygiene services and preventive services and we can help,” she stressed.

To make an appointment or to learn more about the clinics, visit them online. For more information about National Dental Hygiene Month and about at-home dental care, visit the American Dental Hygienists’ Association.

For those interested in becoming Pima Medical Institute dental hygiene students, visit the program online. It is offered in Albuquerque, Seattle and Houston. Pima Medical Institute also offers a dental assistant program at 11 of its campuses in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, California, Texas and Washington state. To learn more, visit the program online.

The clinics are open on the weekdays during regular business hours.

Clinic locations and phone numbers
  • Albuquerque: 4400 Cutler Ave. NE, Albuquerque, N.M, 87110, 505-875-8555
  • Houston: 11125 Equity Drive, Suite 100, Houston, TX, 77041, 713-395-5454
  • Seattle: 9709 Third Ave. NE, Seattle, Wash., 98115, 206-529-6677
Pima Medical Institute
Pima Medical Institute is a private, accredited school dedicated to provide students classroom studies paired with real-world training at medical facilities. Established in 1972, Pima Medical Institute helps students become career ready, focusing exclusively on health care professions, including medical, dental, veterinary and nursing fields. Curriculum includes certificate, associate degree and bachelor’s degree programs, ranging from nursing, medical assistant and radiology technician to veterinary assistant and dental hygienist.
Pima Medical Institute operates 16 campuses as well as an online division. The medical career college has a presence in eight western states with ground locations in Albuquerque, N.M.; Tucson, Phoenix and Mesa, Ariz.; Denver and Colorado Springs, Colo.; Seattle and Renton, Wash.; Las Vegas, N.V.; Houston and El Paso, Texas; Chula Vista, Calif.; and Dillon, Mont. For more information and a complete list of programs offered at each campus, visit pmi.edu or call 1-888-442-5998.

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