Saskatchewan Polytechnic students walking into enhanced dental training space this fall thanks to the Saskatchewan Dental Assistants’ Association and Ministry of Advanced Education
New equipment and operatory suites are just the start for students in Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s dental programs
August 3, 2021 – Saskatchewan Polytechnic Dental Assisting students will begin their program this year with enhanced equipment and chairside clinic thanks to a $150,000 donation from the Saskatchewan Dental Assistants’ Association (SDAA) for the purchase of new equipment and a $1.8 million investment from the Ministry of Advanced Education for renovations.
The investment from the Ministry of Advanced Education enabled Sask Polytech to begin renovations to two of the three wings of the clinical floor. Renovations include the creation of 31 enclosed operatory suites as well as upgrades to the sterilization center and ventilation systems.
“The hands on learning experience offered by this program plays such a valuable part in training the province’s dental assistants of tomorrow,” Advanced Education Minister Gene Makowsky said. “This investment into the dental lab renovations will only enhance our students’ clinical and lab experience.”
Dental assistants play an important role in the delivery of oral health care and are in high demand across the province. The donation from the SDAA supports the purchase of new equipment for the enhanced training and chairside clinic space. Sask Polytech Dental Assisting students will be learning in an environment equipped with the latest in dental technologies.
"The Saskatchewan Polytechnic Dental Assisting program plays a significant role in addressing the acute shortage of dental assistants in Saskatchewan." says Jennifer Prpich, incoming SDAA president. "By ensuring new industry protocols and procedures are incorporated to reflect changes in how dental procedures are taught and provided to the general public, Sask Polytechnic ensures both new graduates and existing Registered Dental Assistants have the highest quality of training in both undergraduate and postgraduate dental assisting programming."
The dental programs at Sask Polytech provide critical training for dental assistants and dental hygienists. As well, the institution operates one of the largest community dental clinics in Saskatchewan, serving our most vulnerable populations.
“We are extremely grateful for the generous support from the Saskatchewan Dental Assistants’ Association and the Ministry of Advanced Education,” says Dr. Larry Rosia, Saskatchewan Polytechnic president and CEO. “This critical funding for Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s Dental Assisting program will ensure that our students receive the highest quality education, and that our many clients, who use the dental centre and the outreach services, receive the best dental care and a top-quality experience.”
Dr. Rosia adds, “This is just the beginning, however, of improvements required to address the critical needs for oral health care in Saskatchewan.”
Sask Polytech is undertaking a $6 million campaign to transform the dental clinic at Regina campus to a Dental Health Centre. This initiative will address the critical oral health care needs in our province and prepare future dental care workers for an evolving industry. The renovation to the fifth-floor wing is a first step toward creating a Dental Health Centre that will be a catalyst for training the best dental assistants and hygienists of the future. Additional upgrades and acquisition of new equipment are needed to provide a state-of-the-art training space and reduce the shortage of front-line dental care workers.
The dental health centre campaign will support the transformation of the dental clinic space by enabling further equipment upgrades along with renovations to the prevention clinic, reception area and tech labs. This will allow for more people to access the services of the community clinic, place Sask Polytech in a stronger position to expand upon current programming, including Continuing Education courses that enable dental care workers to maintain their designation, and offer applied research opportunities.