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Vol. 68, No. 7
ISSN: 1488-2159
July / August 2002


Investigating the Potential for Students to Provide Dental Services in Community Settings


• Linda Huynh-Vo, DDS •
• Joel M. Rosenbloom, BSc, DDS •
• Garry Aslanyan, DMD, MPH •
• James L. Leake, DDS, DDPH, MSc, FRCD(C) •

A b s t r a c t

Some dental educational institutions in North America have incorporated community-oriented programs into their curriculum. The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential for the clinical placement of Ontario's dental and dental hygiene students in community-based settings. Key informant interviews were used to collect data. The study group consisted of 15 key informants from 9 potential placement sites and 4 educational institutions in Toronto and London, Ontario. The textual data were analyzed qualitatively to identify important issues regarding a clinical placement program. Results showed that there is strong support for the placement of students in community-based clinics; however, the degree to which health centres can accommodate students varies. The majority would not set any limit on the types of dental services that students could provide as long as the services were within the students' competencies. Funding was identified as a barrier to the implementation of such a program, with most of the organizations not able to contribute financially. None would be able to provide sufficient supervision without additional funding. These results indicate that a clinical placement program would be a welcome addition to the training of dental and dental hygiene students, but that external funding for supervision and operational expenses must be available before a program can be instituted.


MeSH Key Words: clinical competence; community dentistry; education, dental
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