Dental Clinic Built Inside Iowa High School

Cropped Photo: Courtesy USMC / CC BY-SA 4.0
Cropped Photo: Courtesy USMC / CC BY-SA 4.0(WJRT)
Published: Jan. 28, 2016 at 6:50 AM CST
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A new dental clinic inside Scavo High School gives students the opportunity to visit the dentist within the walls of their school.

The clinic, which is the first of its kind in Iowa, provides cleaning, filling and teeth removal services.

Student Damien Foster was one of the first to try it out.

“Someone said ‘Where do you go to the dentist?’ I said, ‘I go to my school for the dentist,’” Foster said. “It’s been a 1 ½ years since I last went to the dentist because mine is all the way in Iowa City.”

The clinic has had 20 appointments since it opened and school officials have already noticed a difference in class attendance.

“Year in and year out, dental problems is one of the top reasons kids are out of school,” said Dr. Peter Blough of the Des Moines Health Center. “A lot of the time … it can be difficult to find (time) to make it into a dentist office.”

The clinic has the capacity of serving 15 students a day. The clinic provides services to any students attending Des Moines Public Schools.

Students said the dentists make the experience positive.

“It’s a good experience,” student Jasmine Nelson said. “Just because there are sharp things, does not mean they hurt you.”