Dental therapists discuss oral health

Dental therapists gathered in Inverness for the first time for their annual scientific meeting.

Some 20 members of the Scottish group of the British Association of Dental Therapists met at the Centre of Health Science at Raigmore Hospital.

Organiser Morag Mackinnon, the association’s Scottish representative, said it was important to hold this year’s meeting at the centre because a new oral health science school would open there in the autumn.
‘I wanted to encourage members to come north, show them the new school and make them aware of what we’re now offering up here,’ she said.

‘Most of the speakers are involved in the school, and we hope that the meeting will encourage more therapists to come and work in the Highlands as well. The feedback was very positive.’

The Scottish Rural School of Oral Health Science will be located in phase two of the Centre for Health Science, due to open in the summer.

It will be offering a BSc in oral health science, developed as a collaborative project by NHS Education for Scotland, Inverness College UHI, NHS Highland and NHS Dumfries and Galloway.

The course will enable school-leavers and mature students with appropriate qualifications to register as both dental therapists and dental hygienists, and could help improve access to dental care for people in Scotland’s rural areas.

Eight students will be based in Inverness and four in Dumfries.

Course tutor Carol Hobbins said: ‘Students in Dumfries and Galloway will be able to see and assess the clinical practice of Inverness students on dummy heads through video links and vice-versa.’

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