Keeping Smiles Healthy

A woman with a mask on adjusts an x-ray next to a man's face
Students at the School of Dental Medicine at Case Western Reserve University get practical experience working with members of the community to meet their oral health needs.

David Fankhauser, a retiree and military veteran, said it’s been years since he last visited a dentist. When choices came down to putting food on the table or taking care of his oral health, the latter took a backseat.

Enter the new dental clinic from the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine.

“I watched this building go up, from right over there,” said Fankhauser, pointing to his apartment at Hough Heritage, adjacent to the new multimillion-dollar dental clinic now open to patients at 9601 Chester Ave.

With free and heavily discounted services available so close to his
home, Fankhauser finally sought out care for his cracked fillings and painful teeth. “It’s nice to put my mind at ease,” he said.

As part of the Health Education Campus—a joint project between the university and Cleveland Clinic—
the dental clinic offers a spacious, modern place for students to provide services to the community under the supervision of faculty.

Opened in time for the 2019-2020 academic year, the new three-story, 126,000-square-foot dental clinic provides an expanded space and state-of-the-art equipment to enable dental medicine students to learn and provide advanced treatments.

At its previous location on Case Western Reserve’s main campus, about 19,000 people visited the
Case Western Reserve University dental clinic each year. The majority of those visitors—approximately 11,000—are Cleveland residents like Fankhauser.

“With our facility’s location, right here on Chester Avenue, we’re hoping to increase foot traffic around the dental clinic and increase the number of visitors,” said Ali Syed, the dental school’s admitting clinic director and an assistant professor.

The new facility also features adjacent parking lots, pick-up an drop-off sites, and more airy and well-lit spaces.

“We are thrilled that this new space will allow us to reach even more patients across our community,” said dental school Dean Kenneth Chance. “With features like 3D printers, we will be able to provide more efficient care, while outpatient suites for complex procedures will allow for more treatments right on site.”