The OU College of Dentistry will open a state-of-the art clinic in Tulsa.
The roughly 5,000-square foot facility on the OU-Tulsa campus is expected to open in June 2022 and will be the first of several planned across the state.
Dr. Raymond Cohlmia is dean of the OU College of Dentistry. He said the new clinics are meant to address a lack of access to affordable, comprehensive care in Oklahoma, not to just churn out additional dentists and hygienists.
"This is not just about the University of Oklahoma, this is not just about the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry, but this is about the profession and this is about our responsibility to deliver care to those in need," Cohlmia said.
Cohlmia said about 30% of patients at their Oklahoma City clinic come from northeast Oklahoma. That clinic has seen more than 285,000 patients in the last five years, according to OU Health.
"Whatever's charged at $100 in private practice would run about $40 here. So, it's a definite cost savings, the difference is the time. It takes us longer here to deliver that same care because you're being delivered care by advanced students in the — or, residency students — and then covered by the dentists, obviously," Cohlmia said.
The Tulsa dental clinic will provide care to patients of all ages when it opens.