Dear Current Editor,
I am writing this letter because I have a concern with the dental department at NSU. I recently moved here from Michigan and I am a graduate student in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. I am also the graduate assistant for Leadership Education in the Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement and I live and work on campus so it is convenient for me to go to the dentist on campus.
I moved here in July and I called the dental health department to schedule an appointment. At that time, they informed me that there was a waiting list for one year. Then the representative also told me that the list was currently closed because it was too long. This was very discouraging to me because I really have a large amount of dental work that needs to be done. I know that I need braces. Additionally, I need some implants for some teeth that have cracked.
The representative did recommend that I go through the faculty practice, where the dental teachers would be performing the dental work as opposed to the dental students. She said at that particular clinic there are no discounts to NSU students but the faculty clinic accepts business with or without insurance. She also said that it would cost $200 for the initial visit, and that they wouldn’t be able to see me for at least three months because they were booked as well.
At that moment I knew that I would not be able to afford this because I only make enough money to support my major needs, not anything additional. Even though I need the work done, I can’t afford it.
I am writing this letter because I feel that there may be other students who are going through similar issues. It is very difficult to coordinate medical appointments and outside dental places are not going to factor in that I am a full time graduate student and cannot afford to take off work to go to the dentist.
Personally, I think there should be some type of priority offered to NSU students, and we should get a student discount to offset the cost. As a graduate assistant, living on campus, I am required to get the student insurance, but it does not include dental coverage, so I am forced to use other options. My easiest option would be to utilize the resources that we have right here on campus. With there being a waiting list of one year and me only being at NSU for two years, it is difficult, and in the end, I am the person who is suffering and not able to get my dental issues taken care of.
I don’t want to bring any negative light to the dental department but I wanted to voice my issue with the purpose of getting some results. I wanted to share my story with the NSU community because I know there are other students facing my exact issue.
All I want to do is be able to go to the dentist and begin my braces process and get all the work completed that I need to while I am a graduate student at NSU. I want to reiterate that this is not to speak negatively on the dental department. I am simply making the public aware of my issue.
I really enjoy NSU and I think that we have an advantage over a lot of other schools due to the fact that we have a medical center right here on campus. We have access to the medical facilities that include the following: the medical clinic, the pharmacy and the vision center. I hope that this letter makes people aware of the issue that students at NSU are faced with and me in particular.
First-year student, MA in College Student Affairs