EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

Community-Based Dental Training Programs

The Dental School Mission and Goals (Education, Research, Patient Care, and Service) are consistent with those of the UT Health Science Center-San Antonio, with a focus on South Texas. Consequently, the provision of our dental education program includes community-based clinical training at affiliated sites in South Texas which are primarily located in Dental Health Profession Shortage Areas in Texas (Dental HPSA map, South Texas Border Region and Licensed DDS per 100,00 population/Texas).

Through the Dental Education Outreach Network (DEON), consisting of affiliated training sites, community-based training is provided under the supervision of dental school faculty/adjunct faculty in a variety of areas: primary care, hospital-based care, oral surgery care, alternative dental care delivery (mobile van/portable equipment) programs, preventive dentistry, special patient care, and school-based programs. These community-based training experiences enhance the students' ability to manage a diverse patient population and function successfully in a multicultural work environment. Currently, the DS has more than 30 affiliation agreements/partnerships with: community & migrant health centers in South Texas, local health departments, other non-profit clinics, hospitals, school districts, nursing homes, and mental health facilities. The DEON affiliated training sites also provide the opportunity for our dental students to interact with varying demographic groups, including Spanish-speaking patients in a variety of settings and locations.

REQUIRED ROTATIONS FOR DENTAL STUDENTS

Freshmen
- rotate to Coronado Elementary School (half day) in the Edgewood Independent School District as part of a required course in School-Based Preventive Dentistry. The Freshman dental students teach oral hygiene instruction to the 2nd and 3rd graders.

Sophomores
- rotate to one of several Head Start Centers in San Antonio (one half day) as part of a required course in Sophomore Clinic.
- rotate to the Ricardo Salinas Clinic (Pediatric Dentistry) in San Antonio (one half day) as part of a required course in Sophomore Clinic.
- rotate to University Health Center – Downtown (Brady Green) (one day) as part of a required course (Oral Surgery) in Sophomore Clinic.

Juniors
- rotate to Coronado Elementary School (half day) in the Edgewood Independent School District as part of a required course in School-Based Preventive Dentistry. The junior dental students provide sealants for the children who have parental consent to participate. There is a 3-chair dental clinic in Coronado Elementary School.
–rotate to a Nursing Home (two half days) as part of a required rotation in Geriatric Dentistry. The junior dental students provide primary dental care for institutional-bound geriatric patients in nursing homes using portable dental equipment. This rotation is coordinated by the Geriatrics Clinic in the Dental School (initiated in Spring 2005).
- rotate to the Ricardo Salinas Clinic (Pediatric Dentistry) in San Antonio (one half day) as part of a required course in Pediatric Dentistry.
- rotate to University Health Center Downtown to receive oral surgery training. This is a required rotation (1 day) are conducted by the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.

Seniors
–rotate to the Ricardo Salinas Clinic (4 days) to receive pediatric dentistry training. This program is conducted by the Department of Pediatric Dentistry.
–rotate to the Frank Bryant Clinic (4 days) to receive pediatric dentistry training. This program is conducted by the Department of Pediatric Dentistry.
- rotate to University Hospital in San Antonio to receive training in hospital dentistry for a period of 2 weeks. under the supervision the Department of General Dentistry faculty.
- rotate to the San Antonio State Hospital (SASH) (1 day) where they receive training in the provision of dental care to mentally compromised patients. This is a required rotation in the curriculum conducted by the Departments of Community Dentistry and General Dentistry.
*- rotate to schools in the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) (1 day) where they receive training in the provision of primary dental care to Migrant children using the mobile dental van, under the supervision of Dr. Vidal Balderas and sponsored by the Departments of Community Dentistry and General Dentistry.
- rotate to University Health Center Downtown to receive oral surgery training. This is a required rotation (2 days) are conducted by the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.
* seniors are required to participate in one of these two rotations (SASH or SAISD)

ELECTIVE ROTATIONS FOR DENTAL STUDENTS

In addition to the required rotations listed above, there are numerous other opportunities for dental students to participate in elective outreach programs as follows:

Senior South Texas Rotation
Senior South Texas rotation - for senior dental students. During the academic year, senior dental students have the option to rotate to one of four clinics in South Texas for a minimum of 2 weeks and a maximum of 4 weeks. They receive 700 points for each two-week rotation from the Department of General Dentistry. Housing is provided. This is a selective program.

Besides the above mentioned required rotations, there are numerous other opportunities for dental students to participate in outreach activities as follows:

Heroes for the Homeless Selective - for senior dental students. During the academic year, senior dental students have the option to rotate to the San Antonio Christian Dental Clinic (Monday afternoons) and/or the SAMM shelter (Wednesday evenings in conjunction with Dental Hygiene and Family Practice Medicine) to provide primary dental care services for homeless and underserved patients served by the sites.

Mission Selective - The Christian Medical/Dental Society sponsors weekend Mission trips (6-8) to the US/Mexican border region during the academic year. Students at all levels sign up for this program with the Christian Medical/Dental Society which schedules the weekend trips. Usually, 8-15 dental students who sign up for each trip. The students may be divided into two groups with one group staying on the US side of the border and the other group going to Mexico. The Christian Medical/Dental Society takes the mobile dental van and stations it at a church, community center, or school in the designated community on the US side of the border (Del Rio, Eagle Pass, or Laredo) while portable equipment is taken across the border into Mexico/sister communities (Ciudad Acuna, Piedras Negras, and Nuevo Laredo). The dental students are supervised by dental school faculty and private practitioners/adjunct faculty. Basic primary, preventive, ad emergency dental care is provided through this program.

The Colonia Mobile Dental Van Training Program – required rotation for Pediatric Dentistry & AEGD residents/selective for senior dental students. Residents & students and faculty rotate to Laredo every other weekend to provide diagnostic, preventive and primary dental care services for Laredo/Webb County area colonia residents who have no designated dental home. This program, sponsored by the Sanchez Foundation was initiated as a pilot program in April 2007 and will extend through the end of October 2008. Residents, students and faculty work as a team to provide dental care using dual alternative dental delivery systems (Mobile van and portable dental equipment). Departments involved: Community Dentistry, General Dentistry, Pediatric Dentistry and Restorative Dentistry.

Selective 7011 –Each summer, the Dental School (through the South Texas Border Initiative) offers a selective outreach work-study program (4 –6 weeks) which assigns students in teams (DS I’s, II’s, & III’s) to affiliated clinics in South Texas (Brownsville, Harlingen, Raymondville, Laredo, Eagle Pass, Uvalde). Dental students provide dental care to patients under the supervision of adjunct faculty at the designated affiliated clinic sites. Housing is provided by AHEC. Students receive elective credit.

A Community Service Selective – was established several years ago by dental students to create a vehicle by which students could interact with the local community by participating in such projects as Habitat for Humanity, United Way’s Days of Caring/Sharing, Paint Your Heart Out sponsored by the San Antonio Business Volunteer Council, Christmas Under the Bridge (for the homeless); Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner and the HEB Christmas Dinner; KLRN TV (phone bank for public television); Big Brother/Big Sister program – working with youth; etc.

Miles For Smiles – organization that was established by dental students in 1992 to address oral health status in the community. Through this organization, an annual run is conducted by dental students to raise funds to pay for community clinical prevention programs such as the weekly fluoride mouthrinse program. Currently, 2,000 children (grades 1-5) in 8 elementary schools in non-fluoridated communities in South Texas are enrolled in the MFS fluoride mouthrinse program. Upon receiving parental consent, the children rinse once every week with a 0.2% neutral sodium fluoride solution for the duration of the school year, excluding holidays. This preventive program was chosen for its simplicity for both the child to perform and for the nurse/teacher in dispensing and monitoring of each child participating in the program. Dental students also learn to work with school personnel.

National Programs

U.S. Public Health Service - Junior dental students are encouraged to apply for the COSTEP program conducted by the U.S. Public Health Services. Students selected through this program are assigned to dental clinics on Indian reservations or federal prisons for a period of at least 6 weeks. The dental students provide dental care to the respective constituents under the supervision of PHS Dental Commissioned Corps Officers. More importantly, they are exposed to the mission of the Public Health Service.
Indian Health Service - more info to be added.
Other Extership Programs - Every year, UTHSCSA Dental students (6-8) participate in externships offered by other Universities (Oral surgery, etc.) OMS also accepts students from other Universities.

International Programs

UTHSCSA participates in a Japanese Exchange Program in conjunction with 2 Japanese Dental Schools. Through this program, 5 Japanese dental students and 1 faculty member from each of the Japanese dental schools visit UTHSCSA for a week in August each year; subsequently, 10 UTHSCSA dental students visit one of the 2 Japanese dental schools for a week in March each year.
Various faculty and/or students participate in other international programs offered through various agencies/organizations. During summer 2007, two senior dental students spent five weeks in Nepal, through a university-dental school mission program.

PostGraduate Program Rotations

- Laredo Prosthodontics Residency program > rotation to Gateway Community Health Center/Laredo, TX – every other week
- Laredo Periodontics Residency program > rotation to Gateway Community Health Center/Laredo– every other week
- Laredo Dental Public Health Residency program > rotation to Perez Elementary School/UISD/Laredo – every week (Wednesdays)
- Initiation of Satellite Pediatric Dentistry Residency Program > Laredo Health Dept - July 2008
- Initiation of Satellite AEGD Residency Program > Laredo Health Dept - July 2008
- AEGD and GPR > University Hospital
- AEGD and GPR, Endo and Perio residents > VA Hospital;
- OMS residents > University Health Center Downtown
- OMS residents > various offices/private practitioners
- Pedo Residents > Christus Santa Rosa Hospital; Ricardo Salinas Clinic, Frank Bryant Clinic
- Ortho Residents > Christus Santa Rosa Hospital
- Geriatric Fellows > Nursing Home rotations