Dental clinic

This photo was taken prior to March 2020.

June 10, 2021

SIU announces updated schedule for free summer dental clinics for children

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The summer schedule for the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Dental Sealant Grant Program’s free dental clinics for children has been revised and updated.  A variety of factors prompted the changes, including a particularly heavy demand for services in part of the region, staffing and the participation of volunteer dentists.

The clinics are especially popular in Perry County so many of the service dates are being consolidated in Pinckneyville with extended hours available. Children from outside of Perry County are also welcome, or they can receive free treatments at the SIU Dental Hygiene Clinic on campus on Tuesdays.

Free care meets state school requirements

The program provides free dental examinations and cleanings along with preventive dental services, including fluoride treatments and sealants, to children ages 3-17. The exam fulfills the state requirements for children entering kindergarten, second, sixth and ninth grades in the fall.

Although there is no fee for the services, children who are part of the “AllKids” program should bring their medical card.

Safety protocols that include social distancing and wearing masks will be in place. 

How it works

All children are welcome and will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis with no appointments necessary. The child will first be examined by a dentist and then senior students in SIU’s dental hygiene program will provide cleanings, fluoride treatments and sealants, if needed.

Perry County schedule

All of the off-campus clinics will be at the  Perry County Health Department, located at 907 S. Main St. in Pinckneyville. The hours are 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. and no patients will be accepted after 3:30 p.m. that day.

All children must be examined first by a dentist before receiving any follow-up care. When possible, the exam and preventive care will be provided on the same day, but children may have to return on a subsequent day, if needed, largely due to time constraints.

Here is the updated schedule for the clinics:

  • June 24.
  • July 1.
  • July 15.
  • July 16 – preventive care only, no dentist available.
  • July 29.
  • July 30 – preventive care only, no dentist available.

Additional days may be added and the existing schedule is subject to change due to circumstances beyond the control of program coordinators. Please check the program website or SIU Dental Hygiene Clinic Facebook page for updates.

For more information, call 618-453-8880, 618-453-7211 or 618-305-9840.

On-campus care offered on Tuesdays

Children can also receive free examinations and preventive dental care from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each Tuesday during the summer at the SIU Dental Hygiene Clinic, located across from the Banterra Center at 1365 Douglas Drive on the SIU campus. Additional services, such as X-rays, are available at the dental clinic for a fee.

Appointments are required only at the clinic location by calling 618-453-8826.

Anytime paid care available at Community Dental Center

In addition, the SIU Community Dental Center, a non-profit campus dental office on campus, provides self-pay dental care at discounted rates. Patients of all ages are welcome throughout the year for routine cleanings, X-rays, exams, fluoride, sealants and similar care as well as for restorative treatment.

The dental center’s summer hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. on Thursday and 8 a.m.-noon on Friday. Appointments are required by calling 618-453-2353.