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UTech-Trained Dental Surgeons Highly Qualified and Competent


November 16, 2015
by By Alecia Smith-Edwards - Jamaica Information Service

The first set of 22 dental surgeons, trained and certified by the University of Technology’s (UTech) College of Oral Health Sciences, are highly competent and are on par with professionals in first world countries such as the United States (US).

Board Member of the US-based Commission on Dental Competency Assessments, which administers dental examinations, Dr. Maurice Miles, made the declaration while addressing a hooding ceremony held on Tuesday (November 10) at UTech’s Papine campus in St. Andrew.


The first cohort of dental surgeons to be trained locally, pose for a photograph following their hooding ceremony at the University of Technology (UTech) in St. Andrew on Tuesday (November 10). The students have completed their five-year degree programme in Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) at UTech’s College of Oral Health Sciences. They officially graduate on Thursday (November 12).

The students, who will officially graduate tomorrow (November 12), have completed their five-year degree programme in Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD). They are the first ever dental surgeons to be certified by the university.

Mr. Miles said the members of the DMD Class of 2015 have proven themselves to be “as qualified, as competent, as dedicated as any dental graduate from the United States and Canada.”

“These dentists did very well, you should be very proud. Jamaica now has the same standards of oral care that any American has,” he noted.

He further pointed out that Jamaicans no longer need to seek quality dental care overseas, stressing that “you can stay here.”

“You can get one of these students to…treat you, to show you what good dentistry is, because it is at the same calibre, same standards, and it is cheaper not to buy a plane ticket,” he noted further.

Speaking at the hooding ceremony, where outstanding students were recognised for their scholarly and humanitarian achievements over the course of study, Chief Dental Officer for Jamaica, Dr. Irving McKenzie, said he is proud that the college has produced competent dental surgeons.

“What we are unleashing on the Jamaican public, are dental surgeons of the highest calibre in Jamaica…with a humanitarian heart,” said Dr. Irving, who is also Interim Dean of the College.

Chairman of the Jamaica Dental Council, Dr. Winston Grey, encouraged the new dentists to continue to provide the highest quality of care, especially to ordinary Jamaicans.

“I have seen their skills first-hand and they are somewhat superior to anything I’m seeing out there now, even in practice,” he said.

Over the past five years, more than 200,000 Jamaicans have received top-quality treatment from the dental surgeon trainees.

As part of their training, the team of 22 dental surgeons, gained hands-on experience at the dental clinic housed at the College’s Arthur Wint Drive location.

They also participated in voluntary outreach programmes in clinics and health centres in the public health sector, as well as community health fairs and other events, where dental services are offered free of cost to the public.

The College of Oral Health Sciences, which is the largest provider of dental services for the people of Jamaica, has a strong public health focus and places special focus on providing quality care to the common Jamaican who is unable to access this service.

It offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Dental Hygiene, Dental Nursing/Therapy; Dental Laboratory Technology and Diploma in Dental Assisting.

The hooding ceremony was to recognise the accomplishments of the dental surgeons in a more personal way than is permitted at the university’s general graduation ceremony.

All graduates will embark on the Government vocational training programme through internship and will be placed at health facilities across the island.

For more on this story, please visit: http://jis.gov.jm/utech-trained-dental-surgeons-highly-qualified-and-competent..

We congratulate Dr. Gary Glassman Director of Endodontic Programming and one of main contributors of equipment, consumables and time.