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J Dent Educ. 2013 May;77(5):604-11.

Current trends in community-based clinical teaching programs in U.K.and Ireland dental schools.

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  • 1School of Dentistry, Cardiff University, Heath Park, Cardiff, United Kingdom.


Community-based clinical teaching/outreach programs using a variety of approaches have been established in many predoctoral dental schools around the world. The aim of this article is to report current trends in the teaching of community-based clinical teaching/outreach teaching in dental schools in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In late 2010-early 2011, a questionnaire was distributed by e-mail to deans of the eighteen established dental schools in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The questionnaire included both open and closed questions relating to current and anticipated trends in community-based clinical teaching. Fourteen responses were received (response rate=78 percent). All fourteen responding schools reported inclusion of a community-based clinical teaching program. Ten schools indicated that their program was based on total patient (comprehensive) care including the treatment of child patients. In nine schools, the program is directed by a senior clinical academic in restorative dentistry. As well as student dentists, ten schools and seven schools include teaching of student dental therapists and student dental hygienists, respectively. There is a varied experience within the schools surveyed in terms of the extent, nature, and content of these programs. Overall, however, community-based clinical teaching was seen as part of the future of dental school education in many schools as an ideal way of preparing graduates for Dental Foundation Training and subsequent independent practice.


Ireland; United Kingdom; clinical education; community-based dental education; comprehensive care; holistic care

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