In 2013 the Royal Flying Doctor Service created the TOOTH program through a partnership with Invetec and the Gonski Foundation to help address chronic oral health problems in rural and remote communities in NSW. The program delivers 128 dental therapy clinics each year to the communities of Bourke, Lightning Ridge, Collarenebri and Goodooga. These communities were identified as some of the most disadvantaged in the state with low socio-economic factors combining with lack of dental services and fluoridation of drinking water to adversely affect their oral health. Charles Sturt University, as the largest annual supplier of dentists and oral health therapists to rural NSW, was invited by the RFDS to collaborate in the program offering dental and oral health students the unique opportunity to work inside the program, providing valuable clinical experience and meeting the need for clinical assistance for trained dentists, enabling this important program to be delivered. Students took to the program with enthusiasm, as it provided them with a unique clinical training opportunity and the chance to give back to the communities that worked so hard with CSU to create a rural dental program that gave them the chance to study for the dental profession.
Albury-Wodonga, Bathurst, Dubbo, Orange, Wagga Wagga
School of Dentistry and Health Sciences