Dental Outreach Team - two student dentists smiling with a teddy bear in a dental mask
Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise (PDSE) co-ordinates the Inter-Professional Engagement (IPE) Module on behalf of Peninsula Dental School (PDS). First and second year students take part in IPE and this ensures all students have an awareness and understanding of common health risk factors and their impact on public health.
First year students visit community organisations, meeting a key worker in the organisation. They investigate the organisation’s aims and objectives to develop a broad understanding of health and wellbeing of the participants using community services. They are then required to submit a report on their findings and a reflective paper; this forms part of the summative assessment for all first year students.
Second year students devise and deliver an engaging, meaningful intervention project for a specific community group supported by the IPE co-ordinator and academic tutor. The summative assessment includes producing a poster, writing a reflective paper on their experiences and delivering a group presentation at the symposium; whose audience is made up from other students, academic staff and an invited audience including an expert panel who assess each presentation.
The aim of these modules is to develop a range of skills and attributes such as:
  • verbal and non-verbal communication skills
  • team working 
  • ability to work with other health professionals
  • develop a robust understanding of health in its broadest sense
  • create an awareness of other agencies who support health improvement
  • to be innovative and engaging.
The range of intervention projects include:
  • oral cancer awareness for young people
  • taking oral health messages to homeless people in Plymouth
  • supporting recovering drug/alcohol users
  • creating opportunities for children and parents to access dental treatments
  • working alongside older people to encourage improved dental health
Feedback from our partner organisations is excellent, students develop skills and attributes which enable them to communicate more effectively with patients, building meaningful relationships which influence treatment in the clinical settings.
This is a unique approach in dental education and one which PDS is particularly proud.   
Participation in this module has meant that some people who would not traditionally access dentistry have received treatment at the Dental Education Facilities with students providing dental care and treatment to people that have in some circumstances been life changing; creating confidence and building self-esteem as a result of the excellent clinical care delivered by the whole dental team.
Dental Outreach Team - group of dental students in a primary school classroom smiling
Dental Outreach Team in a school - group of student dentists