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Community Outreach

The Community Outreach Dental Program provides dental and other health services for people who have suffered homelessness, or have difficulty accessing conventional care.

Driven by the Adelaide Dental School, the Community Outreach Dental Program attends to hundreds of patients—and provides our dental and oral health students an additional 1040 clinical hours—every year.

The program’s dental clinic was launched in September 2011, and operates weekdays within the Light Square Common Ground complex in Adelaide’s West End, which also provides accommodation and a range of other services for the homeless community.

Many University of Adelaide staff, students, private dentists and allied health professionals volunteer their time to provide this valuable service.

I don’t have to hide my smile anymore!
Maureen, early clinic patient

Community benefit

The Community Outreach Dental Program reflects our school’s deep commitment to ensuring thinkers and professionals of the future have a strong sense of social justice, and are dedicated to improving the quality of life of marginalised and vulnerable people in our community.

There are many known links between dental and general health problems, yet many Australians—particularly those in low socio-economic areas or experiencing homelessness—cannot access basic dental care when they need it. Here in South Australia there are over 7500 homeless people, for whom poor oral health is widespread and treatment waiting lists are often measured in years.

Through our outreach program we’re doing what we can to improve their situation.

A life-changing experience for our students

The benefits of the outreach program are magnified through its positive impact on the next generation of dental and oral health professionals. The project provides Adelaide Dental School students with a priceless opportunity to practise in a non-traditional setting, while broadening their understanding of wider community needs.

Additionally, the program opens up important research opportunities through the collection of data flowing from constant interactions with marginalised members of our community.

Like to become a program partner?

We’d be delighted to have your, or your organisation’s, support to help maintain and further develop this groundbreaking initiative.

To learn more about how you can get involved, please contact:

Margie Steffens
Director, Community Outreach
Phone: +61 8 8313 3068
Email: margie.steffens@adelaide.edu.au

How to donate

We are extremely grateful for any donations made to the program. To make a secure donation to the Community Outreach Dental Program, please complete the donation form.

Or, to discuss other ways to support the program financially, please contact:

Paul Finn
Senior Development Officer
Phone: +61 8 8313 4275
Email: paul.finn@adelaide.edu.au

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