ISU Meridian Health Science Center

Idaho State University Family Dentistry

The Idaho State University dental resident training program is open and ready to provide advanced dentistry techniques from dental implants to complete smile makeovers to the residents of the Treasure Valley. The clinic is open to everyone - especially people who may want a smile makeover or implant but have limited funds. For more information, or to schedule an appointment call 208-373-1855.

The Idaho State University dental sciences department expanded Idaho's only dental resident training program to the Treasure Valley. The expansion increases educational opportunities for newly graduated dentists and improves access to dental care for underserved and disadvantaged populations.

The state dental residency program now trains eight residents per year, four at the Delta Dental of Idaho Dental Residency Clinic at ISU-Meridian, 1311 E. Central Drive, and four on ISU's Pocatello campus. The two sites are electronically linked so lectures and seminars can originate from either facility.

Dr. Pam Powell is site director. Powell has been a general dental practitioner in Boise for 22 years, the last five years concentrating her practice on esthetic and neuro-muscular dentistry. She earned her Doctor of Medical Dentistry Degree from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Boston, Mass. She was the first female dentist licensed in the state of Idaho.

Dr. Brian Crawford, chair of the department of dental sciences and the Idaho Dental Education Program, directs the $460,000 grant received from the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration. The grant recommends added funding in the next two years, $369,197 and $200,066, $1.03 million total.

After three years, the program is designed to be sustained through patient receipts, some state education revenues, and affiliation agreements with state and federal programs, hospitals, and care agencies.

Poverty and the Lack of Dental Care

According to a 2000 surgeon general's report, one out of four children is born into poverty. Children from families with annual incomes of $10,000 to $20,000 have 10 times more unmet dental needs than children whose families earn more than $50,000. Pain from untreated dental disease can prevent a child from properly eating, sleeping, speaking and paying attention in school, affecting growth and development. In addition, research now suggests that severe gum disease in adults can lead to increased risk of overall disease, such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and premature birth.

Although dental professionals recommend that children see a dentist and dental hygienist no later than their first birthday, two out of five children living in poverty haven't seen a dentist by the time they start kindergarten.


921 South 8th Avenue
Pocatello, Idaho, 83209