TMCC Dental Hygiene Clinic Information

Photo of dental clinic

The TMCC Dental Hygiene Program's Dental Clinic is primarily a teaching clinic, and therefore, patients receiving dental hygiene care will be participating in the teaching program.

Patients will be accepted only if they are considered suitable as teaching cases. Treatment will be performed by a student and will be supervised by a dentist and faculty. Treatment under supervision generally requires more time than if done in a private practice and most appointments will be approximately three to four hours in length. For adults, multiple appointments may be required.

The Clinic has a policy regarding appointments: All patients are required to remain the entire length of the appointment unless prior arrangements are made with the student dental hygienist.

The following services may be provided by the Dental Hygiene students under supervision in the Dental Clinic:

  • Adult/Child Cleanings
  • Blood pressure screenings
  • Dental nutritional counseling
  • Oral cancer screenings
  • Periodontal scalings and root planing (with limitations)
  • Pit and Fissure Sealants
  • Preventive Dental Education
  • Topical fluoride treatments
  • X-rays
  • Other related therapeutic services

The Dental Hygiene Program Clinic is not a substitute for a regular visit to your dentist. It is recommended that all patients seek dental care between visits. In certain cases, treatment in the Dental Hygiene Clinic may be refused until treatment is provided by the patient's dentist.

All children must be accompanied by a parent or a legal guardian, who must remain in the clinical reception area during the appointment. The Consent for Treatment form must be signed by a parent or a legal guardian prior to providing treatment for children under 18 years of age. Children under three years of age may not be mature enough for clinical care, and a referral to a children's specialist (Pediatric Dentist) may be required.

TMCC students, staff, and faculty are not responsible or liable for unaccompanied minors.

Application to Participate

Only patients whose cases are suitable for teaching purposes are eligible for care in the Clinic. New patients require an initial screening or assessment appointment to determine eligibility. Patients ineligible for treatment in the Clinic will be referred to their dentists.

Criteria for Patient Acceptance

The following items must be met before acceptance as a patient in the Clinic:

  • Free from any medical or dental condition which would make treatment hazardous to patient or operator.
  • Oral conditions are considered acceptable for student learning.
  • Patient interest in learning preventive oral care techniques.
  • Patient cooperation in keeping clinic appointments on time.
  • The Clinic Supervisor reserves the right to refuse or discontinue treatment when indicated.

Completed Treatment/Returning Patients

Patients may initially qualify for treatment and later, after initial therapy is completed, may no longer be considered appropriate as teaching cases; in this case, services will discontinue and the patient will be referred to his/her dentist.

The student and faculty will determine re-eligibility for completed patients. Completed patients may be placed on a one or two year re-eligibility cycle. This allows students to obtain a broader clinical experience.

Consent to Dental Procedures

Before receiving treatment in the Clinic, patients have the right to know the following information prior to consenting to treatment:

  • All procedures to be performed, and who will perform them.
  • Length of procedure/number of appointments.
  • Risks of procedure if performed/risk of not performing procedure/alternative treatment options.
  • Expected benefit/outcome of treatment/potential complications.
  • Cost of treatment/changes in treatment.

Patient Bloodborne/Infectious Disease Policy

Infectious Diseases: The TMCC Dental Hygiene Clinic follows federal and state OSHA standards for sterilization, disinfection, and patient treatment. This includes, yet is not limited to:

  • Personal protective equipment worn by care providers and equipment barriers
  • Heat sterilization for all instruments and the use of disposable equipment and products
  • Required needle safety and disposal
  • X-ray radiation safety equipment and exposure procedures
  • Required and proper handling and disposal of potentially infectious waste

X-rays

Dental x-rays are taken as necessary and as appropriate for assessments, examinations, diagnosis, consultation, and planning treatment. In certain cases, patient treatment may be refused without current x-rays. Copies or originals of x-rays may be used if current and adequate as determined by the supervising dentist. Patients are entitled to have x-rays sent to their dentist of record.

Financial Responsibility

Patients receiving treatment in the Clinic will be charged for treatment according to the fee schedule in effect. All patients will be charged $25 for an Assessment Evaluation Exam. A fee estimate will be provided prior to beginning treatment and patients must be prepared to pay for services rendered. Patients are personally responsible for payment of services in the Clinic. Cash, personal checks and credit/debit cards are accepted. An ATM machine is available on the 2nd floor of the Red Mountain Building, Dandini Campus.

Dental Records

Treatment records, x-rays, photographs, models, and other materials relating to treatment in the Clinic are the property of the Clinic. You have the right to inspect these materials and request copies of your x-rays and/or treatment record and periodontal probe record (this does not include program worksheets).

Note: only x-rays of diagnostic quality will be released from the program. Unreleased x-rays may require retaking by your dental office. In addition, dental/medical records may be used for instructional and research purposes. The Clinic follows all Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) federal regulations. Information on how health records may be used is found in the TMCC HIPAA patient brochure.

Inactive patient records are archived after two years. In order to obtain copies of archived records, two weeks' notice to the Dental Clinic manager is required.

Appointment Policy

Patients are required to be on time for their appointments. If you find that you are unable to keep an appointment, notify the student or the Clinic Office at least 24 hours in advance.

A total of two cancellations without 24 hours notice, two missed appointments, or repeated unsuccessful attempts to arrange for an appointment may be cause to dismiss the patient from eligibility to the Clinic and the services provided by the program.

Patient's Rights

  1. The right to services regardless of sex, economic status, educational background, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation or marital status, or the source of payment for care.
  2. Considerate and respectful care.
  3. The knowledge of those to perform services.
  4. To understand the treatment and outcome of treatment or lack of treatment, length of appointment, scope of treatment.
  5. To participate in decisions regarding dental hygiene treatment.
  6. Right to confidentiality.
  7. Reasonable responses to requests made for services.
  8. Explanation of fees and services.
  9. The highest quality and safe standard of care.
  10. A safe environment and compliance to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards of disinfection and sterilization of all equipment.

Student's Rights

TMCC Dental Hygiene students have the right to:

  1. Be treated with respect and courtesy.
  2. Learn in an environment free from discrimination and sexual harassment.
  3. Treat patients who honor their appointments, arrive promptly and participate willingly in the educational process.

Notice to Patients Regarding the Destruction of Health Care Records

A provider of health care shall not destroy the health care records of a person who is less than 23 years of age on the date of the proposed destruction of the records. The health care records of a person who has attained the age of 23 years may be destroyed in accordance with this section for those records which have been retained for at least 5 years or for any longer period provided by federal law.--Pursuant to the provisions of subsection 7 of NRS 629.051.

Photo of dental hygienist training with student patient

Dental Hygiene Clinic Services

The TMCC Dental Hygiene Clinic is open to the public and our fees are extremely low: ranging from $25 to $135 for procedures. We do not perform extractions, restorations or dentures.

Costs and Length of Appointments

Payment is expected at the time of service. We do not bill insurance. Cash, personal checks and credit/debit cards are accepted.

All patients are charged $25 for the Assessment Evaluation Exam. Patients must be able to remain for the entire clinic session to enhance student learning (sessions are 3-1/2 to 4 hours).

Assessment Evaluation Exam: is an oral assessment consisting of a review, documentation, evaluation and recording of the patient’s medical and dental history, evaluation and recording of the extra-oral and intra-oral hard and soft tissues, evaluation for oral cancer, evaluation and recording of dental caries, missing or unerupted teeth, restorations, existing prosthesis, occlusal relationships, periodontal conditions, periodontal screening and charting, hard and soft tissue anomalies; and treatment plan for preventative measures.

The Assessment Evaluation Exam determines whether a Standard Cleaning or a Deep Cleaning (Scaling and Root Planing) is required. Depending on when you had dental x-rays last, determines if you need full mouth, bitewings, or a panoramic x-ray done. X-rays are required for the students to perform a cleaning, but if you recently had them taken at your dentist you can bring them with you for a cleaning. We also place sealants for young children during cleaning appointments.

Note that we charge per treatment, not per visit.  It may take more than one visit to finish any cleaning appointment.

  • Standard cleanings are no charge, and appointments are 3-1/2 to 4 hours in length.
  • Deep cleanings scaling and root planing (SRP) are $10 to $20 per quadrant and may take more than one appointment that are 3-1/2 to 4 hours in length
  • X-rays start at $15 and can cost as much as $35. Duplication of x-rays costs $10. X-ray appointments are 1-1/2 hours in length.
  • Sealants (for young children) are $5 per tooth.
  • Sealants are done during cleaning appointments 3-1/2 to 4 hours in length.

Participation as a Patient in our Program: Scheduling

Students are the healthcare providers while observed, monitored and evaluated by licensed dental hygienists (faculty) and a supervising dentist. Students have specific requirements that they must complete each semester, and patient scheduling is based on student need.

Clinics are held during the Fall (Sept. through Nov.) and Spring (Feb. through April) Semesters. TMCC students are out during the Summer and Winter break, and no services are available. When you contact us, we will take some basic information from you and put that information into our "patient pool". As the students need patients, they then draw from that pool. Depending on when your information is placed in the pool we cannot guarantee which semester you will be called for an appointment.

All of our students are required to schedule and confirm their own patients. Appointments are required (no walk-ins).

If you are interested in becoming a patient or need additional information, please contact the Dental Hygiene Clinic and a student will contact you during the clinic sessions.