UNT has partnered with Dent-Well to provide dental work on campus at Chestnut Hall.
The goal for the dental facility is to be open at the beginning of the spring semester. As they have not started the remodeling, the facility may not be open until later in the spring.
This dental facility is meant to combat the rate of students who withdraw from the university. Associate dean Rodney Mitchell said health is the No. 1 reason students have withdrawn from the university in the past four semesters.
“Last semester, 21.8 percent of students withdrew because of health,” Mitchell said.
In the previous survey, a little more than 20 percent of students withdrew due to health. In just a short while, more than 1 percent more students left for health reasons.
For the purposes of the survey, health could be anything that is mental or physical. At Chestnut Hall, UNT offers psychiatrists, massage therapists and a mental spa to help students relax and handle stress. UNT also houses a doctor’s clinic, pharmacy, recreation center, optical center and a dietician for the physical health of students.
However, Mitchell explained that the university considers dental health to be a part of physical health.
Dent-Well has two sites at other universities – Sam Houston State and the University of Houston. UNT will be the business’ third site, and it hopes to add three more after UNT.
The facility will start off with a three-person staff, not including a receptionist – two dentists and one hygienist. More staff may be added to accommodate more foot traffic once the facility is up and running.
The facility will be open to students, faculty and the Denton community, though it will not be free of charge. Some discounts may apply. It will be located next to the optical center.
Assistant vice president for student affairs Teresa McKinney said the university wants to make dental appointments convenient for students and faculty. She said adding dentistry was a part of making sure health care is thorough.
“We want to make sure that we’re offering resources for students so that they can get their prolific health care needs met,” McKinney said. “Having the dental office, optical center, student health and wellness center, mental health resources, we’re hoping that will benefit students in the long haul. We’re hoping we’re offering enough resources to make students healthier.”
The facility will offer almost anything a regular dentist office offers, including cleanings, fillings, extractions, root canals, whitening, crowns, emergency dental care and some orthodontic work.
Because it isn’t a free service, some students may decide to stay loyal to their current dentist, like mechanical and energy engineering sophomore Zachary Caldwell.
“If I had an emergency I would use it,” Caldwell said. “But I probably wouldn’t use them if I didn’t.”
For other students, like entrepreneurship junior Scotty Cook, their current dentist might be far away.
“I would probably use them,” Cook said. “It would be more convenient than going out of town.”