Boston—As the number of dentists entering the profession declines nationwide and the access to care crisis continues, Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine has found a solution.
The School will welcome the entire third grade class from Blackstone Elementary School in Boston to be “dentists for a day” June 10. Students will don white coats and masks, work on dummy patients in the School’s Simulation Learning Center, and participate in other interactive oral health activities during the day-long event.
“The goal is for these young students to learn that a career in dentistry or the health sciences is something they can achieve,” says Kathy Lituri, BUGSDM’s oral health program coordinator and organizer of the Blackstone field trip. “The field trip also helps students get in the habit of taking care of their oral health early, so they are less likely to have problems as they get older.”
BUGSDM visits Blackstone Elementary School annually as part of Smart Smiles, a school-based oral health initiative to provide free oral health education, screenings, and dental sealants to thousands of children in Boston Public Schools.
BUGSDM offers three additional pipeline programs, for underrepresented minorities and economically disadvantaged students to increase their chances of acceptance into and success in dental school. They include the Boston Area Health Education Center internship, Delta Dental of Massachusetts Scholars Program, and Program White Coat. More information is available online at dentalschool.bu.edu/pipeline-default.htm.
The mission of Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine is to provide excellent education to dental professionals throughout their careers; to shape the future of dental medicine and dental education through research; to offer excellent health care services to the community; to participate in community activities; and to foster a respectful and supportive environment.