Rotation-based vs. Individual-based Dental School Clinics

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Wed, Oct 07, 2015 @ 01:00 PM

dental-chairStudent Ambassador Blog
by Molly Stice

Dental schools have different ways of running their clinic, whether it’s rotation-based, team-based or individual-based. All systems have advantages and disadvantages. In this blog, I will be exploring these advantages and disadvantages. Currently, my school is considering changing their old ways of having an individual-based clinic and moving on to a team-based system. I’m interested in knowing how your dental school runs their clinic and if you like their system. I encourage you to comment below!

With rotation-based clinics, students rotate through all of the departments (fixed, operative, removable, etc.) and they see different patients practically every day. With team-based clinics, students are placed in a team and that team has a pool of patients who rotate amongst the team. With individual-based clinics, one patient is assigned to one student and that student completes all of the patient’s treatment. The dental school I attend has an individual-based clinic system, and it has been this way for quite some time.

There are many advantages with this system, but there are also major disadvantages. One advantage of this type of system is that you can develop a good rapport with your patient by seeing them throughout their entire treatment. Also, by completing their entire treatment plan, you do not have to worry about another student’s work being done on that patient. Imagine trying to insert a set of dentures on a patient whose final impression was done poorly by a different student and the dentures don’t accurately fit the patient. This patient is going to complain to you and you will have to redo the impression which wastes the patient’s time and the patient will not be happy. Depending on the length of rotations in a rotation-based system, this could occur because removable prostheses take a while to complete. Although the supervising dentist should ultimately approve of the impression, there are some professors who have too much faith in students work.

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Tags: Rotation-based clinics, Individual-based clinics, dental schools

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