New state-of-the-art Oral Health Clinic a win
Credit: ANGELA MCINNES
For the last few years, dental students had their studies both at Fanshawe and Western. The new oral health clinic in A-Building will help students stay in one place.
In both the dental assisting program and in the dental hygiene program, students will work on mannequins, then work on peers before they work there way up to live clients with supervision. Construction on this new clinic began on A-Building in December 2019, and the clinic will be live to clients starting in May.
Kelly Turner, dental hygiene program coordinator told Interrobang that for almost 20 years, students would have to travel back and forth from Fanshawe to Western University.
“We’re really pleased that we’ll be able to open up this new clinic here at Fanshawe College so that our students are all in one place,” Turner stated. “Logistically that makes everything a little bit easier for the students.”
Jennifer Cooper, dental assisting program coordinator, said that the equipment they have is the best you can buy.
“The chairs that we have the operatories that we have, the software systems that we have, right down to our sectioning systems, everything is brand new,” Cooper said. “It’s more advanced than what you’d see in some dental offices unless they’ve had a recent renovation.”
Turner also said that with all the equipment in there, they had to build the clinic with COVID-19 in mind and have good infection control in place.
“Everything with infection control has gone to a higher level is called additional precautions. We’ve got the ventilation that is necessary to help protect the students, the faculty and the patient when they come in,” Turner said. “We also have put barriers in place. So, we’ve enclosed each of the cubicles so that keeps everyone safe with the procedures that we do.”
In terms of how the programs have been running with COVID-19, Turner said that last March students abruptly stopped providing care to clients due to the shutdowns and that they haven’t had the opportunity for about a year. She explains how they were able to get their skills back.
“Fanshawe offered a refresher course this winter that the students are doing. They are going back to the basics, learning their instrumentation, they get to do those digital radiographs again to practice on a mannequin, and now practising on a peer, getting prepared for when we open again for the public,” Turner said. “The students have been really happy with the refresher course, that’s really helping them feel confident again to open up the doors to the public.”
Turner also said that they want to have clients with all different types of oral health. They are looking for clients of all ages for students to examine this summer. Patients are able to have a checkup with a dentist, have radiographs or x-rays and able to have a polish and a fluoride. They can also have nutritional counselling for your oral health.
Finally, patients can have a complete examination and full mouth cleaning. If you would like more information or would like to book an appointment, please visit fanshawec.ca/programs-and-courses/academic-schools/school-health-sciences/oral-health-clinic-fanshawe-college.