MCC dental hygiene students offer free dental screenings

MESA, Arizona –- Aug. 31, 2023 -- Mesa Community College dental hygiene students will offer complimentary oral health screenings to qualified individuals Sept. 9 at the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health (ASDOH), 5855 E. Still Circle in Mesa. Appointments are available at 9 and 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and may be made by calling 480-248-8195. Time slots are on a first come, first serve basis.

Qualified screening candidates are those who have not received dental health care for three years or longer or who have been diagnosed with dental health issues. Screenings are not comprehensive exams and treatment will not be provided during the event. “If the patient qualifies for therapeutic, deeper cleanings for an advanced perio/gum disease infection treatment, treatment will include customized oral health care services,” said Kimberlee Zitek, director of the MCC Dental Hygiene Program.

Patients are charged for such services, if needed. However, current MCC students (with an MCC student ID) receive services at a discount with a high-end estimate of $360. She adds that in private dental practice, this treatment could cost a minimum of $1,000 without dental insurance. “And sometimes with dental insurance it's still out-of-pocket about $600-$800.”

Screening participants must agree to have a full set of x-rays taken. If patients request a copy of their x-rays, the fee is $20. X-rays can be picked up during business hours at the ASDOH Dental Clinic.

“This event provides access to low-cost dental hygiene services to community members in need. The complementary screening includes a thorough health history exam, including blood pressure and glucose screenings, along with head/neck and oral soft/hard tissue evaluations,” Zitek continues. “Many underlying health concerns have been identified by our students during this process like high blood pressure or high glucose reading concerns in addition to suspicious lesions warranting referrals to physicians and oral surgeons.” Although the event does not provide restorative dental treatment, “as dental hygienists, we do provide patients with referrals to seek out dental treatment with our dental school partnership or preferred dental home,” she explains.

The event also benefits second-year dental hygiene students in many ways, Zitek notes. “For our students to develop advanced instrumentation skill sets and matriculate successfully throughout our program's curriculum, they need exposure to treating patients with more complex periodontal disease.” Students must pass a state licensure clinical exam that requires the advanced instrumentation skills developed during their last two semesters while treating more complex periodontally involved patients. “Moreover, it enables our students to build rapport with community members, strengthen interpersonal communication skills and exercise compassion for others as our program places a sharp focus on providing our patients with holistic oral health care.”

Some participants will be invited to participate as patients in the MCC Dental Hygiene program receiving personalized fee-for-service care provided by MCC Dental Hygiene students. Students provide quality care using the latest technology in comfortable surroundings at fees less than most private dental practices. All patient care is provided under the supervision of licensed dental hygienists and supervising dentists.

The Mesa Community College Dental Hygiene Clinic provides a full range of dental hygiene services offered during convenient evening hours at the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health Clinic. To schedule an appointment outside of this screening event, please contact the clinic at 480-248-8195.

Additional information about the MCC Dental Hygiene Program and the dental clinic is available online at

# # #

Media contact: Dawn Zimmer, or 480-461-7892

The MCC Dental Hygiene Program offers a rigorous and intensive science oriented program and is accredited by the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Dental hygienists traditionally provide preventive and therapeutic oral health care to patients in a dentist- supervised work setting. Career opportunities are available in private dental offices and clinics, nursing homes, schools, post-secondary institutions, public health, research, and in private business. Students successfully completing the Dental Hygiene program at MCC will prepare individuals for the necessary licensure requirements and are eligible to take the written and clinical exams necessary to obtain licensure in any state in the US. MCC offers a Dental Hygiene clinic open to the public at the A.T. Still University Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health's "state-of-the-art" facility in Mesa. A full range of comprehensive dental hygiene services are available at fees less than most private dental practices. The Dental Hygiene clinic sees patients from late August through mid-May of each year. All patient clinical work is supervised by professional dental hygienists and supervising dentists. For more information, visit

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for university transfer, career and technical programs, civic engagement, service-learning and innovative approaches to education. On average MCC students provide 23,000 hours of community service annually. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 25,400 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations through a combination of modalities. MCC is transforming how it champions student success through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution with nearly 50% of its students being the first in their families to attend college. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges; its American Indian Institute serves students from the 22 federally recognized Arizona tribes as well as out-of-state tribes. The diverse student body includes hundreds of international students from around the world. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to attain their goals. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and Yavapai Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit to learn more.

MCC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC),

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. MCCCD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit

Source Details

Publication Date: 
Thursday, August 31, 2023