Soon, UCF students who have a toothache or need their teeth cleaned won’t have to leave campus. They will be able to get their dental needs met at the university’s new Dental Center, scheduled to open Dec. 14.

Dr. Annelise Driscoll, assistant director of UCF dental services, said the state-of-the-art facility is focused on affordability, access and quality.

“We are filling in the gap and providing quality health care so students can continue studying and learning,” Driscoll said. “If students are healthy, they have the best chance of succeeding academically.”

The facility, located on the third floor of the Health Center near the center of campus, will offer three main services: prevention, restoration and cosmetics. This includes teeth cleanings, cavity fillings, teeth whitening, root canals, braces and more.

The UCF Dental Center will employ seven staff members, including a dentist, two dental assistants, dental hygienist, financial counselor, office assistant and Driscoll herself.

“I feel strongly about creating something the UCF community as a whole can use,” Driscoll said.

There will be a trial run — a so-called “soft” opening — on Dec. 14, when the UCF Dental Center staff will treat a small number of students. The grand opening will be in January.

The Dental Center is self-supporting and will not receive money from the health fee, tuition or state funds to operate.

The center is designed to eliminate patients’ fears. It features rear delivery systems, which place all the drills and trays behind the patient’s head, and all the X-ray arms are enclosed in cabinets.

The facility contains four operating stations, with room to expand to two more.

“Students will benefit from this because they can now maintain good oral health by getting excellent, affordable dental care here on campus,” Driscoll said. “Everybody needs dental care; it is not a luxury but a necessity.”

Source: Special to the Orlando Sentinel, by Janelle Kuehnert. Janelle Kuehnert is a UCF journalism student. To read the full and original story, visit the Web site.