The dental clinics are open at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, and residents are providing care on site. However, their offsite outreach is taking new forms as health fairs and other community events have shifted to virtual formats.
According to the school, its students and faculty are finding creative new ways to provide oral health outreach to serve the needs of the Northern California community.
Recently, students from the Dental Hygiene Class of 2021 volunteered with the Delta Pacific component of the California Dental Hygienists’ Association to deliver screenings, fluoride, and nutritional counseling to children and families in Modesto. They provided services to more than 30 people during a public drive-through event.
In August, leaders of the Dugoni School’s American Student Dental Association Chapter organized a virtual dental health education event for kids. During the online event, the Dugoni School students provided oral hygiene health education to more than 57 elementary school children and their families through Zoom.
Students from the Dugoni School’s Student Community Outreach for Public Education (SCOPE) program also recently participated in the 25th annual Chinatown Community Health Fair.
This year, SCOPE volunteers and faculty provided virtual support for members of the Chinatown community, including facilitating an online workshop on children’s oral health with an opportunity to “Ask the Doctor.” These oral health prevention virtual presentations were followed by a Q&A session.
SCOPE volunteers also collaborated with Sonrisas Dental Health Clinics in San Mateo, providing Cantonese translation for its online oral health Zoom presentations. They conducted several practice sessions, which made for an entertaining, interactive, and bilingual outreach program for parents, caregivers, and children, the school said.
“The Chinatown Health Fair has always been a great opportunity for Dugoni School students to promote oral health and give back to the community. Despite the pandemic restrictions, we are honored to provide interactive oral health prevention tips in Cantonese,” said Denise Ng, DDS, 2022.
“We cherished collaborating with a dedicated team that produced our first-ever virtual event to bring oral health awareness to the next generation,” Ng said.