UIC College of Dentistry opens Pilsen Center for Oral Health Promotion

The University of Illinois Chicago College of Dentistry has opened a new dental clinic at the UI Health Pilsen Family Health Center Lower West, 1713 S. Ashland Ave., called the Pilsen Center for Oral Health Promotion. The center will provide community-based oral health care and educate dental students.

Joining UIC Chancellor Marie Lynn Miranda at the Sept. 8 dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony were speakers Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez, Cook County Commissioner Alma Anaya, U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and the Oral Health Forum’s Dr. Alejandra Valencia, all alumni of UIC.

The clinic is “focused on improving health outcomes for the patients and the community through an educational model for preventing disease and minimally invasive management of existing conditions,” said Dr. Scott Tomar, the college’s associate dean for prevention and public health sciences.

“Working with families to help them understand what leads to oral disease, and what roles they and we can play to prevent or manage disease can be instrumental in improving oral health,” Dr. Susan Rowan, said interim dean of the college. “Dr. Tomar’s team has embraced the college’s vision of better oral health through transformative innovation with the establishment of the innovative curriculum and contribution to community health.”

“Our vision is to have students spend time in this clinic from their first year, learning how we improve health outcomes for the patients in the chair and the broader community,” Tomar said.

The renovated space has three dental chairs, two rooms for patient education and an area in which dental students and students from other UIC health sciences colleges will provide group health education for patients.

As part of UIC’s academic health enterprise, UI Health, the college partnered with the Oral Health Forum, Heartland Alliance and the City of Chicago in creating the Pilsen Center for Oral Health Promotion.

Watch Tomar’s 3-minute talk on this research, delivered at SparkTalks, UIC’s take on faculty lightning talks.

Funding for the dental clinic initiative came through the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation and donations from the Chicago Dental Society Foundation and the Illinois State Dental Society Foundation. The Henry Schein Cares Foundation donated supplies and equipment.

To contact the Pilsen Center for Oral Health Promotion, call 312-996-2901.

Photo Gallery:

Photos were taken by Adam Biba at the Pilsen Center for Oral Health Promotion ribbon-cutting celebration Sept. 8, 2023 at the UI Health Pilsen Family Health Center Lower West, located at 1713 S. Ashland Ave.

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