Dental medicine students at Midwestern University are taking their expertise out into the community to help those in need. As part of their dental education, students are participating in the DuPage Smile Squad Mobile Dental Clinic which travels to Ray Graham Special Needs Adult living centers to perform oral health screenings on their clients.
"My experience at the Ray Graham facility on the Smile Squad Mobile Dental Unit was humbling and eye-opening. I was able to assist in cleaning patients' teeth, observe patient screenings, and assist with escorting patients from their housing to the Smile Squad," said Marisa Milligan, a third-year dental medicine student, who participated in the program in August.
"I did my best to make the patients feel comfortable and at ease, whether it was simply smiling at them, encouraging them that they were doing a good job, letting them pick the color of their tooth brush, or holding their hand during a screening or when walking them to and from the mobile unit. It was a memorable experience and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to experience this type of care. I would definitely volunteer in a setting like this in the future," she said.
Midwestern University dental medicine students are scheduled to work with the Smile Squad throughout the year. The Smile Squad is sponsored by an Illinois Children's Health Care Foundation Grant and also travels to schools, community centers and the DuPage County Public Health Centers to provide general dentistry to at risk children.
Midwestern University has a long tradition of partnering with community organizations to provide needed healthcare to the community. Recently, dental medicine students participated in an oral health education event for the staff at a Ray Graham residence for special needs adults located in Addison, IL. The program consisted of the staff receiving an oral health education lecture provided by Larry Williams, D.D.S, Assistant Professor, College of Dental-Medicine-Illinois at Midwestern University. The students then worked closely with the staff in reviewing basic oral hygiene instruction. There were many questions asked by the staff and answered by the students about oral health, various oral conditions, and links between diet and oral disease. The information provided was very helpful as the Ray Graham staff members are tasked daily with providing oral health support to nearly 100 special needs adults.
The partnership with the Ray Graham Association is just one example of the experiential learning students undergo before becoming licensed dentists. Midwestern University student dentists, in their final years of extensive professional training, treat patients under the close supervision of licensed faculty at the new Midwestern University Dental Institute located at 3450 Lacey Road, Downers Grove, IL. To schedule an appointment or to learn more about the Dental Institute, please call 630-743-4500 or visit www.mwuclinics.com.