SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A local dental practice is helping students take a bite out of their college expenses.
Rebecca Tjeerdsma is a junior working toward her engineering degree at Dordt University. She says the pandemic has brought on some financial burdens, but through a new program though a local dental clinic, she’s getting by.
It’s fair to say that the COVID-19 pandemic took a bite out of Rebecca Tjeerdsma’s college experience.
“It has taken something from everyone: whether that is financially or even, like, a relative,” Tjeerdsma said.
13% percent of South Dakotans have student loan debt and more than one thousand residents with unpaid student loans, Siouxland Oral want’s to help ease that burden.
“We know that our local students have had to shoulder an impossible task of remote learning and affording school during the pandemic, so these folks are also worried about paying for a necessary dental procedure,” George said.
Dr. Lou George says they started their ‘Wisdom for Wisdom’ initiative a year ago. They seek applications from students asking them what being chosen would do for them and their parents during these trying times.
“Everything changed around us last year, and every dollar counts even more so,” George said.
Students also get their wisdom teeth removed at no cost. Tjeerdsma was one of their recipients last year.
“Their team was super nice, and I didn’t have any nightmare stories like some other people have had with their wisdom teeth; it went very smooth,” Tjeerdsma said.
Dr. George says that 85% of all wisdom teeth do, eventually, need to come out.
“By doing it before the age of 20, lowers the risks of complications and delayed healing and so fourth,” George said.
“It definitely saved me from thousands of dollars that definitely went toward my college education,” Tjeerdsma said.
“If we can help a patient alleviate some financial stress – particularly with these trying times, then we’d be very happy knowing we made a difference,” George said.