Reason to smile: New dental clinic opens inside North Philadelphia school

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Friday, June 16, 2023
New dental clinic opens inside North Philadelphia school
The unique partnership between Temple University and the school district is "one of the best things that happened" for a parent in the neighborhood.

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- On the third floor at William D. Kelley Public School in North Philadelphia, you'd expect to see classroom after classroom. You may not expect a dentist's office to take up the space between.

The idea came about five years ago as a partnership between Temple University and the School District of Philadelphia. Local kids needed a nearby place to access healthcare and Temple dental students needed to get experience working within the community.

The Dean of Temple's Kornberg School of Dentistry, Dr. Amid Ismail, says it was a win-win.

"We are here all the time and we provide all services, prevention, education, restorative care, minor surgery, and it's done in the school," said Dr. Ismail. "So, we don't waste time for the parents as well as the school children. And because we're located in school, we can bring them back and finish their work in small increments."

Even during the summertime, the Temple Dental Clinic at William D. Kelley School remains open for Philadelphia public school students in the 19121 zip code.

"As a mom, I feel like this here is one of the best things that happened to me," said Mykina Simmons, who has four children in the school.

Simmons sees the new dental clinic as a way to promote good habits and more frequent checkups. It also eliminates a lot of the hassle required to find access to healthcare.

"It's a convenience that I did not have before with taking my children," she said. "You had to take the bus out far, maybe, probably have to go out to a doctor's office setting somewhere. And that's not always fun. And sometimes they're not even local."

The clinic's organizers hope it will be successful enough to inspire the creation of more like it in the city.

To learn more, visit the Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry website.

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