News

Dental Services for Rutgers-Newark Students at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine

Dec 9, 2016

by Luis G. de Jesus, MD

One of the grievances Rutgers-Newark students have regarding health and wellness is the lack of dental care. Mandatory student healthcare insurance covers the cost of medical care but specifically excludes routine dental care and treatment. To address the lack of dental coverage, Rutgers University started offering a low cost dental insurance plan called Delta Dental Plan on a voluntary basis. However, most students choose not to participate in this plan. Unfortunately, some students end up with dental problems complicated by delay of treatment and lack of preventive care. Students endure long lines at local dental emergency rooms or pay expensive fees to see private dentists.

Last October, I reached out to Carrie Stetler, Marketing & Communications Project Manager of the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, who referred me to both Janine Fredericks-Younger, DMD, Director of Clinics Office for Clinical Affairs and Michael Conte, DMD, MPH, Senior Associate Dean for Office for Clinical Affairs. Both immediately contacted me and set a meeting and tour of the facility.

Rutgers School of Dental Medicine (RSDM), formerly known as the New Jersey Dental School of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey prior to the New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act, is considered to be among the top dental schools in the country. Their website states “the school was first established as part of the Seton Hall College of Medicine and Dentistry, admitting its first students in 1956.  It was the first successful program in dental education to be established in New Jersey and is now the state's major resource for dental education, patient care and research”.

The dental clinics of RSDM, located at 50 12th Street, Newark, NJ, are impressive. The reception area at Level B, newly renovated, spacious and clean, is staffed with friendly personnel. Non-urgent cases are scheduled by appointments usually within a few weeks. Patients with urgent needs are triaged and seen accordingly. The treatment areas with numerous dental work spaces are clean and fitted with state of the art equipment.

RSDM provides a full range of dental services and, in the process, trains students to become dentists or dental specialists. The pre-doctoral and post-doctoral students are closely overseen by a well-credentialed faculty.

RSDM extended its dental care benefits to include not just RSDM students but also other Rutgers students. Rutgers-Newark students can now avail the dental services of RSDM at significantly discounted payment rates comparable to Medicaid reimbursement rates. According to the American Dental Association, in 2014 the Medicaid fee-for service reimbursement rates in New Jersey was 17.8% of commercial dental insurance charges for adult dental care services. That’s a huge savings for Rutgers students.

To become a patient at RSDM, Rutgers students will need to provide the required five-point proof of identification. Bring one primary document, one secondary document, and a proof of address. A primary document may include a NJ driver’s license or a NJ-issued photo ID (4 points). A secondary document may include a photo driver’s license from another state or country, a valid major US credit card, a US-issued health insurance card (1point), or a US school photo ID (2 points). Proof of address may include a utility or credit card bill, checking or savings account statement containing the address.

 

RSDM information:

  • Telephone: (973) 972-4242
  • Website: http://sdm.rutgers.edu/patients/njds.htm
  • Directions: 50 12th Street, Newark, NJ. It is 0.9 mile from the Newark Campus (about 20 minute-walk or 10 minute-free Rutgers shuttle bus ride).