Campus News

Campus Conversations: Dentistry Students Learn by Practice, Reaching Every Corner of State With Care

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 31, 2011) – At the University of Kentucky, the faculty in the College of Dentistry believe and practice the idea that the best way students can learn their craft is often by doing it.

“Our College of Dentistry creates incredible opportunities for students to work alongside our faculty clinicians in the lab and with patients,” UK President Eli Capilouto said after visiting with faculty and staff in the College of Dentistry this week.

Those opportunities include several mobile dental units deployed across the state where basic dental services are provided to underserved populations in Kentucky. Most recently, UK dental faculty provided basic dental care on a weekend at historic Keeneland racetrack to the children of backside workers and other farm workers.

The college also provides students the opportunity to work at its Twilight Clinic, a dental clinic on UK’s campus for children of families, who in most cases would not otherwise receive dental care.

Increasingly, good oral health is considered an important component of preventing other serious health challenges, ranging from diabetes to pre-term, low birth weight babies. As a result, dentists and clinicians are on the front-lines of health care in many cases, making student experience in clinical settings even more important.

“One thing remains true in the College of Dentistry is their deep commitment to student success,” Capilouto said. “The faculty and staff have built an incredible culture in the college, one that challenges students in the classroom through creative curriculum and training while establishing collegial bonds out of mutual respect for one another between students, faculty and staff.”

Capilouto is in the midst of engaging in in-depth discussions with faculty and staff leaders in every college on the UK campus. The Campus Conversations are part of the process of developing a shared campus agenda for UK. The UK Board of Trustees meets in special session for two days in October to further discuss the campus agenda.