Saskatchewan. the university is preparing to open a three-campus dental therapy program in 2023
The University of Saskatchewan has temporarily closed the dental clinic on the Prince Albert campus to patients in order to renovate the space and accommodate students in a new dental therapy program.
“We are very excited. This is a two-year program designed in a very unique way,” said Acting Dean of the College of Dentistry, Dr. Walter Siqueira. “This program has been designed to serve the underrepresented population and open new employment opportunities.”
Bachelor of Science (BSc) in The dental therapy program will launch in the fall of 2023to become the first and only dental therapy degree program in Canada.
The university plans to teach dental therapy programs at three satellite campuses; in Prince Albert on the University of Saskatchewan campus, in La Ronge on the Northlands College campus and in Regina on the Sask Polytech campus.
The program will accept seven students per year on each campus, for a total of 21 students per year. It will focus on recruiting Aboriginal students. Campus locations will allow students to learn where they live.
Siqueira expects dental therapy program enrollment to open in March 2023.
“We just don’t want dentists to be certified. We want to train certified dental assistants and therapists who are each an important part of the dental team,” Siqueira said.
Once the renovations are complete, the dental clinic on the Prince Albert campus will house 14 students who will work alongside dental residents from the University of Saskatchewan College of Dentistry and senior dental students under the supervision of dentists approved.
Siqueira says there are also options for students who withdraw early from the program.
If a student completes six months, they will receive a dental assistant certificate. And if they complete one year, they will receive a dental assistant certificate.
“If for any reason that student decides not to complete the program, they can still work.”
The federal government provided $2.1 million in funding to the University of Saskatchewan on June 8, 2022 to establish the dental therapy program.
Funding came from the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Indigenous Services Canada.
PRINCE ALBERT PATIENTS
The Prince Albert campus dental clinic is expected to remain closed for a year and reopen in August 2023.
Existing patients requiring additional treatment such as a crown or bridge were sent a letter and given the option of seeing a partner dentist in Prince Albert or visiting the University of Saskatchewan clinic in Saskatoon for the remainder of their care.
These clinics provide care to the public at a reduced rate. Experienced dentists practice at the clinic with dental students from the College of Dentistry under the supervision of licensed dentists.
After the renovations, students in dental education and those in the dental therapy program will practice at the clinic.