The University of Oklahoma will soon have a dental clinic on the OU-Tulsa Campus.
It's all part of a $2 million gift from the Delta Dental of Oklahoma and Delta Dental of Oklahoma Foundation.
The University of Oklahoma said the new clinic will not only serve as a student learning center, but it will also provide dental care to community members in need of affordable services.
"Having a presence here in Tulsa will help that considerably. Just 58% percent of Oklahomans receive routine dental care, so having an affordable option here in Tulsa is going to help considerably," Paul Mullasseril, Dean of OU College of Dentistry.
The College of Dentistry Dean said 10 to 15 percent of people from northeast Oklahoma travel to Oklahoma City for dental care.
"That's the only care they could afford. So, having a facility closer to home will help them in terms of getting their dental care," said Mullasseril.
He said any patient that needs care can use the new clinic at OU-Tulsa.
The clinic is the first of several OU College of Dentistry clinical extensions anticipated throughout the state.
It will offer comprehensive oral health care services to patients of all ages.
"We're going to have about 17 dental chairs providing everything from, like I said, cleanings to fillings to extractions to implants," said Mullasseril.
Care will be provided by third and fourth year dental students, under the supervision of licensed dental faculty members.
One of those OU dental students will be Austin Morris.
"I'm from northeast Oklahoma and there's hardly any dental care in that area," said Austin Morris.
Morris said that's exactly why he got into dentistry. He wanted to make a change.
"People who, you know, need a service that we can provide, and at the same time get an education that we need, it's really meaningful to us as students," said Austin Morris.
The 5,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility is expected to be open in the summer of 2022.