March 2012
Capstone March 2012 Howard University  

College of Dentistry Offers Quality, Low-Cost Alternative for Students

By Keneisha Deas, intern, Office of University Communications
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Angelica Hill has her teeth checked by dental student April Powers. (Tyrone Clemmons)

Angelica Hill, a senior from Columbia, S.C., needed help. Her wisdom teeth needed to be pulled, and she didn’t have the money to pay for it.

“It was $400 a tooth, and I needed all four done.” Hill said.  “I really couldn’t afford it.”

The answer for her was the Howard University College of Dentistry. She had the procedure done there during her sophomore year at no cost. “Our goal is preparing graduates to give back.”

“I was afraid to have my teeth pulled, but the students made me feel comfortable,” she said.  “The students did everything and the dentists made sure it was done correctly.”

Hill is one of many Howard students who are treated at the College of Dentistry. Dozens of dental students provide much-needed services at reduced costs to Howard undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Services are provided Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The school also provides evening clinics from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The college offers a wide variety of services that include orthodontic care—such as braces and other methods to align the teeth—dental care for children, deep cleanings below the gums and dental surgery. 

Michelle Aguilos is a senior and president of the College of Dentistry’s student council. She encourages members of the Howard community to use the services because the dental students—supervised closely by their instructors—provide excellent care at a low cost. Students are covered by the Summit Insurance Plan.

“The plan covers fillings and deep cleaning; and basic dental work except for lab work,” said Aguilos, who currently has three Howard undergraduate students as patients.

Laporcia Wagner, a senior, has had dental work done at the college since last semester. So far she’s gotten a check-up, and is now getting her treatment plan. According to Wagner, registering to become a patient is easy and students just need to make sure they bring their identification.

The college also provides dental care to Washington-area residents and University staff. Cynthia Livingston has been getting her teeth checked at the college since she was 9 years old. Over the years, she’s had a lot of work done, from tooth extractions to crowns.

“I’ve had fillings and root canals, almost anything you can think of having done at a dental office,” said Livingston, director of Community Services at Howard University Hospital. “They’ve done excellent work, and I’ve never been dissatisfied.”

Leo E. Rouse, dean of the college, believes that students’ work on patients from the Howard community is an important part of the education at the college. “Our goal is preparing graduates to give back,” Rouse said. “It’s not just about drilling and filling; it’s all about service.”

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