Safety Net Dental Certificate Program

Key recommendations from student focus groups suggested that the James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine should offer a program that instills business and practice strategies unique to the safety net, medical-dental infrastructure, and public health approaches. As a student-informed learning priority, The Division of Population Oral Health, in partnership with the DentaQuest Institute have developed an 18-credit hour, online, certificate degree in Safety Net Dental Practice (SNDP) including, experiential learning with our local community partners. With a total of four elective courses, each course is embedded within the SNDP certificate program has been designed as an online, asynchronous course.

Safety Net Dental Certificate Courses

There are four total elective courses that encompass the SNDP certificate program, including: Advanced Public Health, Safety Net Practice Management, Safety Net Dental Leadership, and Impacts of Poverty on Health care Consumerism. Course deliverables are structured so that learners can apply new concepts through multiple engagement pathways for the 21st century learner, including: virtual simulation, evidence-based clinical case studies, visual video training modules, and self-efficacy assessments for course modules that will contribute to the development of an improvement plan to sustain and enhance the application of their learning from this course in their perspective Health care settings. These courses are required for completion of the Certificate in Safety Net Dental Practice.

An example timeline (PDF) has been provided to demonstrate a potential schedule for course completion over the duration of a 4-year pre-doctoral dental training program; this is not a required sequence.

Experiential Learning & Research Project

Students will also have the opportunity to participate in an experiential learning or research opportunity to put into practice the newly learned skills acquired during the certificate program. We foresee both experiential learning and research as an opportunity to contribute to improved efficacy in a range of integrated care skills, cultural awareness, and to make significant impacts on meeting the unmet dental and oral-related medical conditions for rural, safety net communities. The completion of the research project or experiential learning is required for the Certificate in Safety Net Dental Practice.

Safety Net Dental Research Club (SNDRC)

The SNDRC began to cultivate opportunities to better understand safety net dental opportunities, discuss evidence-based research in oral health, explore, and develop dental research opportunities of interest for students. This group is a diverse group of dental students from each year of training. We aim to support student research interest and mentorship around underserved populations.