Patients Urgently Needed for Goodwin University Dental Clinic
EAST HARTFORD, CT (02/10/2021) As part of their degree training, students in Goodwin University’s Dental Hygiene program are required to put in a substantial amount of clinical work by providing free dental services to patients from the community. The students work under the direct supervision of experienced and licensed dental hygiene faculty and dentists.
The services include dental cleanings, x-rays, sealants, oral cancer screenings, root debridement, fluoride applications, occlusal guards, whitening trays, periodontal and caries risk assessments, and nutritional and tobacco counseling.
Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, scheduling a sufficient number of patients for the students to work with has been difficult.
“As with so many other healthcare fields, adjusting to the ‘new normal’ within the pandemic has been difficult,” explains Christine Walsh, program director of the Dental Hygiene program at Goodwin. “We needed to put as many extra safety protocols as possible in place for our patients and our students. That meant completely and creatively re-thinking the process of clinical visits.”
Despite the additional accommodations the Goodwin program has made for the free clinical work, booking enough appointments for the current students’ clinical requirements remains a challenge.
“It’s critical for people to maintain good healthcare practices, especially for those without insurance or regular access to dental care,” she continues. “Making use of these free clinic opportunities at Goodwin not only helps maintain dental health, but also provides information on individuals’ overall well-being.”
Another result of the pandemic is the number of people who have lost medical coverage through unemployment. “We want those members of the community to know that we’re here as a resource,” Walsh adds.
Local residents are encouraged to take advantage of this free healthcare support. The Goodwin University dental clinic is located at 403 Main Street in East Hartford. Advance appointments are required, and are available Monday through Saturday, 8 am to 9 pm, by calling 860-218-1800.