I have many fond memories of growing up in the Tama-Toledo area such as having spaghetti suppers at Big T with friends, running into people at Fareway who wanted to discuss the Trojan football season, and playing little league games at the Toledo Heights. The community has also been very supportive and kind to me and my family, such as through the overwhelming support we received after the passing of my sister. Upon graduating from STC in 2008, I attended Luther College with my sights on a career in healthcare. This led me to pursue a career in dentistry after graduating from Luther. Now, I have just finished my second of four years at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry.
Because of the meaningful experiences the Tama-Toledo community has given me, I feel indebted to try to give back in some way. Thus, it is my hope that this editorial may provide people with a resource for asking questions about dentistry and seeking care.
I understand that dentistry is expensive and that it is hard for some people to obtain the dental care they need but there are alternatives to help you have a better smile.
Care provided by students at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry is at a significantly reduced price compared to private practices.
Additionally, the College sees a large number of Medicaid, Dental Wellness Plan, and uninsured patients while many private practices do not accept these patients. Because of this, the College has patients who routinely travel from up to 3 hours from Iowa City to receive care.
The caveat is that patients have a little longer appointment because students are slower and have to get each step approved by Dental Professors. However, I am confident that most people who receive care at the College are satisfied with the respect, kindness, and quality of care they receive from students.
I am very appreciative for all of the support and guidance I received from so many people in the Tama-Toledo area. Thanks for making the area a great community for me to grow up in!
Third Year Dental Student
University of Iowa
College of Dentistry