Increasing Community Involvement

Dental Hygiene International Service Learning

An Established Direction Leads the Way

“The Faculty of Dentistry at UBC has a very successful community outreach program—yet, we can do more.”
— Dr. Charles Shuler, Professor and Dean, UBC Dentistry

UBC Dentistry is committed to providing sustainable oral health care and education to at-risk individuals in local, provincial and international communities. Its community outreach programs focus on acute needs, population-health research and co-development strategies with community partners to prevent disease and promote oral health and wellness.

Provincially, community outreach programs focus on a wide patient demographic—children, seniors and marginalized communities such as new immigrants, the working poor and people with medical, abuse/neglect or substance use challenges. We also have established partnerships with First Nation communities in Chemainus, Penelakut Island, Anaham and Haida Gwaii.

For students, the programs are a valuable opportunity for education and clinical skill development—and a chance to grow their own sense of social responsibility as oral health care professionals.

Expand the items below to find out more.

The UBC Dental Hygiene International Service Learning Program Fund provides a unique opportunity for global community service, enhanced experiential education and collaborative learning for dental hygiene degree students. By making a donation, you can support the next generation of oral health professionals to participate in a volunteer student elective to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Donate to the Dental Hygiene International Service Learning Fund >>

The British Columbia Dental Association’s Save a Smile (SAS) program supports BC children in need of urgent dental care. Dental disease can have a serious effect on children and the valuable support we receive from our program donors is vital in allowing us to meet their dental care needs.

Donate to the BCDA Save-a-smile Outreach Program >>

UBC’s Faculty of Dentistry is committed to making a difference in the oral health and education for the children at East Vancouver’s Florence Nightingale Elementary School, which was identified by Vancouver Coastal Health as a high risk area for oral disease.

Donate to the Adopt a School Program >>

Dr. Chris Wyatt, program director, came up with a dynamic community service-learning model to "adopt" a long-term-care facility. The model involves the Geriatric Dentistry, Doctor of Dental Medicine, Dental Hygiene, and graduate programs—a considerable commitment from the Faculty.

Donate to the Adopt a Long Term Care Facility Program >>

Being a great dental school means stretching beyond the laboratory and classroom.

UBC Dentistry is committed to providing sustainable oral health care and education to at-risk individuals and communities on a local, provincial and international level. UBC Dentistry Community Outreach Programs focus on acute needs, population-health research and co-development strategies with community partners to prevent disease and promote oral health and wellness.

For our students, community outreach programs are an incredible opportunity for education, clinical skill development and a chance to grow their own sense of social responsibility as oral health care professionals.

The UBC Dentistry Community Outreach Program provides patient care and education to 53 communities across the province with treatment for over 2,500 patients in need in need each year. With your generous support, the program will continue to grow and become sustainable. All gifts go directly to the BC Volunteer Dental Community Fund Program.

Donate to the BC Volunteer Dental Community Fund (G0968) >>

The Dental Mission Project (DMP) was formed to support developing countries in desperate need of oral health care, prevention and education. The UBC Faculty of Dentistry is pleased to partner with the Dental Mission Project and accept tax receiptable donations in support of the program.

Support the Dental Mission Project >>

Down the Road in UBC’s Mobile Community Dental Clinic

“Being a great dental school means stretching beyond the laboratory and classroom.”–UBC Dentistry Strategic Plan

In the mid-1960s, the Faculty of Dentistry wheeled a trailer onto campus to serve as UBC’s first dental clinic for treating patients. Now, 50 years later, the Faculty is gearing up to move another kind of clinic on wheels: a mobile community dental clinic.

What is a mobile community dental clinic?

The mobile community dental clinic initiative will include a mobile cargo van to transport portable dental chairs, portable units, supplies and instruments to support dentists and dental hygienists in delivering a broad variety of oral health care to patients.

What are the goals of the mobile community dental clinic?

The mobile clinic will increase the accessibility of oral health care for marginalized patients throughout the Lower Mainland and the across the province.

Access to dental care and treatment is a challenge for many people. Some have extensive mobility issues, such as the homebound disabled and elderly, and others cannot afford to receive care in a private dental office. A mobile clinic brings care directly to these individuals. Along with delivering treatment, a mobile dental clinic promotes oral health care in the communities visited. It can also act as a supplemental resource for UBC’s existing outreach clinics.

Who will provide the oral health care services in a mobile community dental clinic?

Dental and dental hygiene students, as well as graduate students in clinical specialty programs, will provide curriculum-based oral health care services under the supervision of faculty members. For services under the aegis of the Volunteer Community Clinic Program, volunteer community dentists will provide oversight for the students. Dental residents in UBC’s postgraduate training programs will also perform rotations with the mobile clinic.

How is the mobile community dental clinic funded?

No university or government funding exists to support such an initiative at UBC. Other dental schools across Canada that operate similar mobile programs are successful doing so with private funding.

What is the capital cost?

The capital cost to purchase and outfit UBC’s mobile community dental clinic is estimated at $500,000.

A one-time clinical start-up cost for handpieces, instruments, cassettes, dental materials and sundries is estimated at $60,000.

What about the operational budget?

A five-year operational budget (e.g., insurance, vehicle and equipment maintenance, and consumables) is estimated at $250,000.

Are there any revenue opportunities to sustain the initiative in the future?

While generous donor support will ensure the operational success of the community mobile dental clinic, supplemental revenue streams from contract-for-service models, such as private organizations hiring the mobile clinic to provide dental services to employees in remote areas, are anticipated.

Have any donors stepped forward to support the mobile community dental clinic?

Yes, generous gifts have already been received. The mobile community dental clinic initiative was launched at the Chinese Canadian Dental Society of BC (CCDSBC) 26th Annual Gala Extravaganza on May 17, 2014. Through live donations and an auction, $126,000—just over a quarter of the capital cost—was raised for the purchase of the mobile clinic. Other committed and passionate supporters have also provided funding to help launch this initiative.

How can I support the mobile community dental clinic?

You can support UBC’s mobile community dental clinic by volunteering as a dental professional or through a financial donation. The rewards of providing oral health care service to underserved people, as well as educational and learning opportunities for our students, are immeasurable.

Your gift will be acknowledged in a meaningful way. Various donor recognition levels and naming opportunities are available. Charitable receipts for tax purposes are issued for all donations.

To learn more about supporting the UBC Dentistry mobile community dental clinic, contact the UBC Dentistry Development Team at 604-822-5886 or dentistry.development@ubc.ca

Donate online to UBC's Mobile Community Dental Clinic >>