Archivo de la categoría: Salud Dental

The “Driving” Force of Dentistry



The colorful and cheerful Ostrow dental van, parked and ready to service the public.

Both Irene Reyna and Meyerer Miller smile intently after their interview of mobile dentistry
Photo by Timothy Whitfield

Southern California’s remote or under-served areas tend to be areas without dental services available.  This leaves many people to go without getting any dental care or attention.  The Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC has been providing care for these areas since 1968.  USC’s program now features many vans that include everything from sterilization to portable dental equipment.  The idea behind the Mobile Dental program was to originally serve the entire population that had difficulty receiving care, but now the program has taken a different approach and targets children.  The program first started serving migrant farm workers in between Bakersfield and the border, but now also serves low-income children as well. The school attacks the issue with their QueensCare Mobile Dental Program and Neighborhood Mobile Dental Clinic.  The QueensCare van has taught over 5,000 children in the Los Angeles area proper techniques for oral health care.  The Neighborhood dental van has provided quality care for over 15 elementary schools 10,000 kids.  Van visits to schools are invaluable because they offer professional care for no cost to these children.  The mobile vans that visit Los Angeles’s schools are meant to treat and increase awareness for children from kindergarten to fifth grade.  Before every child receives the free goodie bag they must learn what foods to stay away from while understanding how to brush and floss properly.  The service is available for visits and claims to be cheaper than other practices.  The students will operate on patients under the supervision of their teachers so both the students and the patients receive quality care.  Meyerer Miller and Irene Reyna are two people that spend their time every week to help sponsor events and coordinate oral health fares for the children of Los Angeles.  Having the opportunity to speak with them about the subject helps gain an understanding and respect not found online or in a packet.  Irene and Meyerer explain that the dental “vans” are not really vans. There is a smaller van named after these programs’ founder, Charlie, but most “vans” are large trailers containing a dental office with multiple dental workstations.

Among the three different mobile clinics programs, all of them have different sources that financially sustain the programs. Irene explains that the Mobile Dental Clinic is funded by several private organizations. QueensCare foundation steps in to fund the QueensCare Mobile Dental Clinic. Lastly, the Neighborhood Mobile Dental Van’s funds come from a Good Neighbor Campaign that collects donation from school faculty. Within the UCS’s introductory packet, Meyerer provides a detailed chart containing a synopsis of the amount of people serviced within the last decade. The packet also contained the “At a Glance” paperwork that summarizes a handful of the community health programs by which USC is affiliated.


A Shining Example


The University of Southern California, more commonly referred to as USC, is quite renowned for their medical treatment. Within USC, they have several schools dedicated to higher learning and medical practices. One school in particular has put forth an effort for the betterment of the community or anyone else whom would require their services. The “Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC” provides dental needs regardless of age and financial situation. A lot find it taxing to go to the dentist but USC offers patient care by highly trained dental students whom are closely supervised by expert faculty dentists. USC also has an array of specialized clinics that cater to everything from pediatric dentistry to braces even dental traumas.

The dental clinic on campus is available to the public. Anyone in need of dental services can be accepted for treatment. In fact, Harbor UCLA Medical Center highly recommends and refers its patients to USC’s dentistry school. Another positive factor that contributes to their dentistry appeal is that potential patients need not make an appointment. Dental issue urgency is recognized similarly to the local emergency room.

There are dozens of dental facilities sprawled around the Los Angeles area; however, the campus clinic claims to charge significantly less for all aspects of their dentistry. In comparison to other dental offices in the general area, USC provides equivalent high-quality service in a state-of-the-art facility at a reduced rate. Their website provides further details on the extent of their services and costs. The facility hours of operation and other concerns can also be found on the website.

Felicia Lewis, A current USC dentistry patient, had this to say:

               “My mother used to go there and her teeth were always beautiful, so when I was referred I jumped at the thought of having great dental care at little cost…. I honestly have nothing negative to say about USC’s medical clinic, Go over to USC and they’ll hook you up.”

Klotz Student Health Center


Cal State University Northridge’s Klotz Student Health Center provides many basic services for no charge for currently enrolled students. The university’s student fees include a $56 health fee per semester that pays for the basic services provided. The services include annual physicals, cold and flu care, immunizations, care for injuries, sexual and reproductive health, and laboratory tests and X-rays. Physicals where documentation is required are $25.00. Students interested in birth control should learn more about free family planning services available at the health center through the Family PACT Program (Planning, Access, Care, and Treatment), a state funded program for low-income residents. Laboratory tests that can be performed at the health center and basic x-rays are available at no cost.

Services that are not free for current students are Dental Clinic and Optometry, Complementary alternative medicine and the pharmacy. Dental Clinic services include: basic exams, cleanings, x-rays, fillings, crowns, and teeth whitening. Optometry Clinic services include eye exams, contact lens fittings and red eye visits. The health center also fills glasses and contact lens prescriptions. Complementary alternative medicine include: acupuncture, chiropractic care, and massage therapy all ranging from $10 to $30. Pharmacists fill prescriptions from health center physicians and clinicians outside the health center. Low-cost, over the counter products are available for purchase without a prescription. Dermatologists and physical therapy are also offered for a low-cost. Students can schedule appointments using the online system, by phone, or even walk-ins. Appointments that are not kept and not cancelled within a minimum of 2 hours prior to the appointment time receive a charge of $5.00. The health center is located east of the Bookstore and south of the University Student Union. For additional information visit the Klotz Student Center website or call 818-677-1200.