How Mexico's Peripheral Clinics Serve the Community

Mexico's Peripheral Clinics (CP) offer low-cost dental care with a focus on social good. Students gain real-world experience treating diverse patients, from children to older adults.

How Mexico's Peripheral Clinics Serve the Community
A student dentist carefully examines a smiling patient's teeth under the supervision of a specialist.

Imagine a dental clinic unlike any other. Not your sterile, white-walled haven of gleaming instruments and hushed tones. This clinic is alive with the energy of eager students, the warmth of genuine care, and the quiet hum of community. This is the world of the Peripheral Clinics (CP) of the Faculty of Dentistry (FO) of the UNAM in Mexico City.

These nine dental clinics are located in busy areas and offer more than just dental care. They are gateways to opportunity, where students hone their skills while serving those who need it most. Here, affordability meets excellence, and compassion takes center stage.

Fifth-year dental students embark on a clinical odyssey at the CPs. They ditch the textbooks and sterile classrooms for the real world, armed with knowledge and a thirst to learn. They become oral health warriors, battling decay and restoring smiles under the watchful guidance of seasoned specialists. It's like an on-the-job training boot camp, with a touch of humanity.

The clinics welcome a diverse range of patients – from budget-conscious families to those seeking top-notch treatment. They handle everything from routine cleanings to complex procedures, excluding only corrective orthodontics and implantology. These aren't your run-of-the-mill dentists; they treat children, older adults, even patients with disabilities. Every face, every smile, a story waiting to be written.

A Social Revolution, One Smile at a Time

Perhaps the greatest transformation isn't the patients' mouths, but the hearts of the students. While some initially focus on the monetary rewards of dentistry, their time at the CPs leaves a lasting impact. They witness the true value of their skills – easing pain, boosting confidence, and serving their community. It's a social revolution in disguise, proving that healthcare can be both high-quality and accessible.

Over 50 years, the Peripheral Clinics have treated an estimated 400,000 patients. But these aren't just figures on a spreadsheet – they represent laughter restored, families served, and lives changed.

Dentist's Day in Mexico (February 9th) is a reminder that good oral health shouldn't be a luxury. If you need dental care, consider exploring the CPs ( You'll be supporting student education, receiving top-tier care, and helping those in need. Don't be afraid to flash those pearly whites! After all, the best smiles have a little social conscience sprinkled in.