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UAB School of Dentistry opens satellite clinic in Dothan

The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Dentistry announced it has officially opened a new Dothan, Alabama based satellite dental clinic to recruit, educate, train, and retain dentists to help improve overall dental health within the state’s Wiregrass region.

“We are grateful for our state and local leaders and generous supporters who have played such a vital role in helping this clinic come to fruition,” said Nicolaas Geurs, DDS, Interim Dean of the UAB School of Dentistry. “Our mission at the UAB School of Dentistry is to help optimize oral health care across Alabama.”

“We know that our state is facing a rural dentistry shortage, and we are looking forward to alleviating some of the burden of that shortage through this new clinic.”

UAB Dentistry Dothan is staffed by UAB School of Dentistry faculty and features state-of-the-art technology, including a new product that utilizes 3D imaging technology to capture high-resolution digital impressions of patients’ teeth and panoramic radiography that captures the entire mouth in a single image.

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Nancy Hein Covert, DMD, clinic director of UAB Dentistry Dothan, said the new clinic will continue UAB’s high standard of care and training.

“We are excited to provide the same world-class dental care and clinical training that is available at UAB School of Dentistry to the residents in the Wiregrass area,” said Covert. “This clinic allows us to provide a variety of comprehensive dental services to those in this area, alongside vital training to our students as we teach them how to provide quality, dependable oral health care in a rural community.”

The clinic will treat patients of all ages while providing preventive care, restorative treatments, and cosmetic services. Emergency dental care for issues like root canals, extractions, TMJ, and chipped or broken teeth will also be offered.

State Sen. Donnie Chesteen (R-Geneva) spoke about the importance of the clinic.

“This partnership between the state and UAB shows the commitment to addressing the dental crisis in rural Alabama,” said Chesteen. “Dothan has 1.4 dentists for every 10,000 people, while the national average is 6.1. This new clinic is providing critical dental services to this region of the state.”

The clinic can be found in the Health Center South, owned by Marnix E. Heersink, M.D. and the Heersink family. Heersink is one of the university’s top donors.

“The bonds forged with UAB have grown significantly in the Wiregrass region and have become a cornerstone in providing essential dental education, care and outreach to our neighboring communities,” said Heersink at the clinic’s opening.

“We express our sincere gratitude to President Dr. Watts and his dedicated team for their support in making this become a reality.”

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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