SRU Student Health Services is currently partnering with the Butler Health Clinic to bring a dental program to Slippery Rock students that are either underinsured or uninsured.
The Butler Health Clinic provides services for residents in Butler county, and have expanded their populations to the university for students to take advantage of.
Kristina Benkeser, director of health services, explains that the clinic will offer routine exams, cleaning, and minor dental work. Local dentists and current dental students will be running these appointments at the clinic. These exams and dental emergencies will not take place on the campus of Slippery Rock University. All students participating in the program will have to travel to the Butler Health Clinic, located about a half an hour from campus.
Benkeser mentioned that this program was not suggested and planned out by the health services on campus, necessarily.
“This program fell into our laps,” Benkeser said.
Benkeser said that an SRU student interned for the Butler Health Clinic over the summer and that the clinic was one of her projects, with the student wanting to implement a dental program to students of the university. Benkeser said that she is forever grateful to Butler for allowing the health department to have this opportunity for the students of SRU.
Benkeser also said that this process should be relatively seamless with little issues.
“This is a free service, but is intended strictly for students lacking the dental insurance that they need,” Benkeser said. “There are a small number of students that are completely uninsured, and dental care can be expensive.”
Benseser also mentioned that dental care should not be treated as a luxury, but rather as a necessity. A simple cavity left untreated can lead to gum disease and a tissue infection.
The Health Service department does not use student health care fees, included in tuition, to cover the cost of this new dental program. The clinic is willing to cooperate with the university instead.
In order to receive any dental care at the clinic, students must first receive a regular physical. This physical can be done at the Student Health Center on campus free of charge. Th Health Center will then guide students to the next step.
Benkeser noted that students at this university generally have good dental health.
“We can tell based on the quality of their smiles,” Benkeser said.
This new program will be in effect immediately and more information can be found by visiting www.butlerhealthclinic.org.