Happy female Dentist talking with a new patient.

What a Dental Clinic Can Do for You

Published date field Last Updated:

Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Dental care can be expensive, especially if you're visiting a private dental practice. Have you ever heard of a dental clinic? Well, now you have. A dental clinic houses all of your dental needs under one roof. And that includes specialists. Dental clinics tend to be less expensive than visiting the dentist, and they offer other benefits too.

What makes a clinic different than a dentist's office? We'll cover that as you read on. We'll also look into the procedures offered at clinics and the advantages and disadvantages of going to one. By the time we're done, you'll know if going to a dental clinic is right for you.

Dental Clinic Vs. Dentists' Office

Dental clinics are usually found in hospitals, schools, government offices, and other health-related establishments. They are often associated with a university and serve to educate dentists in training. They're also a source for dental research. In other cases, dental clinics are a community offering to support an area in need. On the other hand, private practices are owned by dentists or medical institutions. And they run like a business.

Dental clinics focus on patient education to prevent disease and provide treatment options for the same procedures offered in general and (some) specialty practices. A clinic houses all dental equipment and tools in one place and is staffed by dentists, dental specialists, dental assistants, and dental hygienists. Low-cost or free treatments are often performed.

What Procedures Can a Dental Clinic Perform?

Although dental clinics vary, they tend to offer a great deal to the people they serve. In addition to general hygiene, clinics may also handle:

  • X-Rays
  • Fillings
  • Periodontics
  • Endodontics
  • Dentures
  • Pediatric dentistry
  • Implants
  • Oral surgery
  • Crowns and bridges
  • Orthodontics
  • Rheumatology

Pro tip: ask your local clinic what specific offerings they have. It'll help you decide if visiting one is right for you.

The Pros of Dental Clinics

There are several reasons why visiting a dental clinic has its perks. Here are some:

  • They tend to be lower in cost. This is possible because you're often working with supervised dental students, and your visit serves an educational purpose. In other clinics, your appointment might support dental research. Dental professionals may also donate their time as an offering to a community in need. In some cases, you'll need to qualify financially for this kind of care. So make sure to check if that's the case at the clinic nearest to you.
  • Everything's in one place. There is likely no need to go to a specialist! Clinics usually have general dentists as well as specialists available to help with most of your dental needs. Having all of your dental needs in one location can be convenient and a time saver too.
  • There is more availability in scheduling. Many clinics offer extended hours and are open for more days than a private practice. This is helpful when schedules get busy and especially if your kids are in school.

The Cons of Dental Clinics

Even though there are many reasons why visiting a dental clinic is positive, there are also some reasons people would prefer to go to a dentist's office instead. This includes:

  • You might have to switch dental professionals during complicated procedures. If you have something that requires long term care, having the same dental professional by your side throughout is important. It helps with consistency as well as peace of mind. This isn't always the case in clinics.
  • The relationship with the dentist is different. There's something personal about visiting the dentist in their office. You really get to know them over the years. If you have any anxiety about visiting the dentist, knowing who you're seeing helps a great deal! In clinics, you're likely treated by whoever is available.
  • There's a high turnover of dental staff. Unlike private dental practices, the dental staff in clinics are often in and out. This change means that you'll experience different professionals when going for dental care.

Now you know that going to the dentist's office isn't the only option out there. If you're looking for a low-cost or free dental care option, a more open schedule, or are interested in having all your needs met under one roof, a dental clinic might be the best option for you! And just think you might even contribute to the education of dental students. Make sure to check about the specifics of what's offered and the financing at your local clinic. Going to a dental clinic isn't for everyone. Some people need and prefer a more consistent and personal relationship with their dentist. But if a clinic is what you've been looking for, don't wait. Make an appointment today and check one out yourself! Your teeth deserve it, and so do you.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

paper airplane

Want more tips and offers sent directly to your inbox?

Sign up now

Mobile Top Image
Was this article helpful?

Thank you for submitting your feedback!

If you’d like a response, Contact Us.

Mobile Bottom Image