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Pediatric Dentistry Collaboration & Outreach


The Department of Pediatric Dentistry has an outreach clinic in the lower level of the Muscatine Center for Social Action (MCSA) building in Muscatine Iowa. Staffed by department faculty, residents, staff members and fourth year dental students, the clinic is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The target population for the clinic is the “unserved” or “underserved” children, aged 0 to 12, residing in Muscatine and Louisa counties. These children cannot access dental care in private offices for a number of reasons:

  • There is a shortage of dentists in the community (1:3,500 in Muscatine County as compared with 1:2,500 in Iowa as a whole).
  • There is a shortage of community dentists who feel willing or qualified to care for preschool and elementary aged children.
  • There is a shortage of community dentists willing to accept public insurance (Medicaid) as payment for services rendered.
  • Financial, social, cultural and health conditions of potential patients create barriers to care.

The clinic offers primary dental care to children regardless of insurance status or income. It accepts Medicaid payments and offers sliding fee adjustments to uninsured, underinsured or undocumented families as needed. The clinic is a collaborative effort of MCSA, the College of Dentistry and the Muscatine Health Support Foundation. To schedule an appointment, call 563-263-0895.

Dr. Rhys B. Jones Dental Health Center, St. Luke's Hospital, Cedar Rapids

One day per week a pediatric dentistry resident travels to Cedar Rapids to provide care at the Dr. Rhys B. Jones Dental Health Center at St. Luke's Hospital. The center operates a six-chair dental clinic, providing comprehensive dental services to children in the area. The care is comparable to that offered by private dentists in the community and emphasizes prevention.

Infant Oral Health Program, Johnson County WIC Clinic, Department of Public Health

Department faculty, residents and fourth year dental students offer clinical oral health care and preventive services for children ages 0-3 every Thursday through the Infant Oral Health Program. The clinic is located within the Department of Public Health’s Johnson County WIC Clinic, 855 South Dubuque Street, Iowa City, Iowa.

Forest City

Twice a year a team of pediatric dentistry residents and faculty travel to Forest City, Iowa to provide on-site dental care services to a group of developmentally disabled adults who reside at facility managed by Krysilis, Inc. The program was initiated in 1994 to help address the increasing demand for dental care for individuals with special health care needs residing in an area greater than 3 hours from the University of Iowa. Mobile dental equipment and supplies are transported from the College of Dentistry to the care facility and the team provides two days of dental services each trip. The opportunity continues to offer the residents a great learning experience with physically challenging special needs patients.

Migrant Camps / Proteus

Each summer, department faculty and residents team up with staff from Proteus,Inc. to provide health care services to the children of migrant farmworkers in the Williamsburg, Iowa area. The team travels to two migrant camp locations on two separate evenings to provide on-site dental exams. Each year approximately 50-60 children receive a dental exam and preventive dental education. Follow-up restorative dental care is arranged for the children with the most severe needs and provided at the pediatric dental clinic in the College of Dentistry. The program was established in 1994 and continues to be a valuable and rewarding experience.

Hemophilia Treatment Center

The Pediatric Dentistry Department plays a key role in the University of Iowa Hemophilia Treatment Center. Pediatric Dentistry is a member of the multidisciplinary team in the preventive care of persons with bleeding disorders. Faculty members and residents provide screening, education and referrals for hemophilia patients seen at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. They also participate in the following outreach activities:

  • Hemophilia Summer Camp is held each summer at Camp Tanager near Mt. Vernon for children with bleeding disorders and their siblings. A dental presentation is given, complete with fun activities for the campers.
  • Amish Outreach Clinics occur every other year in Bloomfield or Independence. Faculty and residents staff the clinic with other members of the hemophilia team to provide services for the Amish population in these two communities.

Dental Student Group Activities

There are several dental student groups that are very active in outreach activities for children. Some of the activities the groups plan and implement are:

  • Fall health fair at Sycamore Mall in Iowa City
  • Give Kids A Smile Program (GKAS) at the Iowa Children’s Museum (Two nights in January and February, perform dental screenings, apply fluoride varnish and provide preventive dental education)
  • Ottumwa Latino Health Fair (perform dental screenings, apply fluoride varnish and provide preventive dental education)
  • Linn County I-Smile Event (perform dental screenings, apply fluoride varnish, place sealants, and provide preventive dental education)
  • Dental health presentations to various preschool and daycare children
  • Iowa Mission of Mercy Event