USD Dental Hygiene Department receives 10000 grant to enhance dental care for Sioux Falls

VERMILLION, S.D. -- A $10,000 grant from the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation to The University of South Dakota’s Department of Dental Hygiene will go a long ways to improving dental care for patients in the Sioux Falls, S.D., area.

The Department of Dental Hygiene, part of the School of Health Sciences at USD, announced that the $10,000 grant will be used to support the USD Sioux Falls Dental Clinic, which is located at the Siouxland Health and Human Services building (former Sioux Falls Coliseum).

According to Ann Brunick, professor and chairperson of the Dental Hygiene Department, money from the grant will assist the clinic's growing operational costs. The dental clinic offers patient care for children and persons eligible for Medicaid who are unable to find a dental care provider in the Sioux Falls region. The clinic also serves patients who have access issues as well as persons willing to be part of the teaching environment.

"The department is grateful to the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation for this gift and their support as we continue to build relationships within the Sioux Falls community," Brunick said. "This grant reflects the urgent need of services like this as access to dental care in many areas of South Dakota has reached critical levels."

As home to the only dental hygiene program in South Dakota, USD has offered dental hygiene services in the former Sioux Falls Coliseum at 521 North Main Ave., since January 2008. The facility is home to six state-of-the-art dental operatories complete with digital radiography and digital recordkeeping, a sterilization station and a conference room. Laboratory and other facilities are shared with the Falls Community Health Dental Clinic. Dental hygiene students rotate through the clinic on a weekly basis and they are supervised by members of the faculty who are licensed dentists and dental hygienists.

For more information about the Department of Dental Hygiene at USD, please visit their Web site at www.usd.edu/med/dhyg/ or contact the department at (605) 677-5379. For information about the School of Health Sciences, go to www.usd.edu/med/health/ or call (605) 677-5000.