Office of Rural Health and Primary Care - dental models

Successful Model for Rural and Underserved Communities

Rice Regional Dental Clinic

Target Population:  Dental underserved residents in the 12-county service area, including public program patients and others who lack dental insurance or the means to access care, although patients will be accepted from any area in the state.

Geographic Area:  Big Stone, Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Lac Qui Parle, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Pope, Redwood, Renville, Swift and Yellow Medicine Counties

Description: The partners for this collaborative effort are Rice Memorial Hospital and the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.  The goals include:

  • Providing dental care to underserved patients in a rural setting
  • Providing dental and dental hygiene students with an opportunity to practice in a rural setting
  • Promoting careers in dentistry among people living in the area
  • Engaging area dentists and hygienists in public services
  • Providing health education and service to the community
  • Having a positive influence on the number of dentists and dental hygienists choosing to practice in the service area.

The Dental Clinic, located at Rice Memorial Hospital, is equipped with 10 dental chairs and state-of-the-art dental equipment. Four dental students and two dental hygiene students spend a one-month rotation through the clinic on a year-round basis. 

Patients are assigned to a dental or dental hygiene student who will perform most procedures. A full-time, faculty dentist is on staff and is consulted about the patients' treatment needs.

The Dental Clinic is open to anyone, regardless of insurance status. Fees are determined on a sliding scale.

Funding was received from:  Countryside Public Health Service, Delta Dental of Minnesota, Healthier Minnesota Community Clinic Fund, Kandiyohi County Public Health, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Minnesota Area Health Education Center, Minnesota Department of Health – Dental Innovations Grant, Minnesota Legislature, Otto Bremer Foundation, Rice Health Foundation, Southwest Initiative Foundation and University of Minnesota.  

Contact: Lorry Massa, Rice Memorial Hospital, chief executive officer, at
A printable version of this model (PDF: 29KB/1page)

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Updated Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 11:40AM