Dental Health Info Article

Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine

Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine encourages students to value high-quality...

The only dental school in Illinois outside of Cook County, Southern Illinois University's School of Dental Medicine fills the need for oral health care in Central and Southern Illinois, as well as the Metropolitan St. Louis area. Located in Alton, the School of Dental Medicine is a short distance from SIU's main campus in Edwardsville, and is only about 30 minutes away from St. Louis.

Since its inception in 1972, SIU School of Dental Medicine graduates have consistently tested well on both parts of the National Board Dental Exams. With approximately 50 students per class, dental students receive personalized training in a professional environment.

The Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine has several fields of study. As well as offering a DMD or combined BS/DMD degree, SIU has post-graduate studies, including the Advanced Education in General Dentistry Program and the Implant Fellowship Program. Residency programs are provided for dentists studying to become endodontists and periodontists, and the University also provides continuing education courses for professional dentists.


Student dentists gain their clinical experience at the Main Clinic in Alton. Diagnosis, treatment planning, oral surgery, prosthodontic treatment and implant dentistry are practiced in the Advanced Care Wing of the clinic. Students also do rotations in the East St. Louis Dental Clinic, where they gain valuable experience helping the underserved.

The SIU campus at Alton also has several other facilities to meet the dental students' needs, including a biomedical library, biomedical and clinical research laboratories, a preclinical lab and classrooms.

Recently renovated, the Main Clinic at the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine provides comprehensive dental care to the general public at a reduced fee. Patients who come to the school for care will find a state-of-the-art 72-seat clinic, where a majority of the dental treatments are performed. There are 24 additional patient-care stations in the Advanced Care Wing of the clinic, used for specialty treatments.


The Community and Preventive Dentistry community outreach program brings oral health care to thousands of adults and children. Southern Illinois University teams with several organizations to provide the public with education, dental treatments and oral cancer screenings. Students of SIU's School of Dental Medicine are involved in community outreach from the start, and students and faculty participate on an ongoing basis during the year.

As part of their course work, students perform preventive services on local children in clinics and elementary schools, and they also partake in several events:

National Children's Dental Health Month -- SIU dental students provide free oral health care to children during the month of February.

Special Olympics Smiles -- The School offers free oral health screenings to local athletes participating in the games.

Health Fairs -- Sponsored by the Illinois State Dental Society, students conduct oral cancer screenings at various public functions, including the Illinois State Fair and the Central Illinois Senior Celebration.

Give Kids a Smile Day -- Considered the highlight of the Community Outreach program, this one-day event provides hundreds of underserved children with thousands of dollar's worth of free dental treatment.

Students of SIU's dental school combine education, research and service as part of their journey towards becoming a professional dentist. Those interested in applying to Southern Illinois University's School of Dental Medicine can call the Office of Admissions.

For further information regarding Southern Illinois University's School of Dental Medicine, visit their website. The School of Dental Medicine is located at:

Address:        SIU School of Dental Medicine
                     2800 College Avenue
                     Alton, IL 62002

Phone:           (618) 474-7000