THERE is much to cheer about for those seeking dental treatment as the new AIMST University dental hospital in Semeling, near Sungai Petani in Kedah, has been giving free dental treatment to the public since its opening last November.
The free treatment, which includes scaling, polishing, fillings, root canal treatment and some cosmetic procedures, could save the patient quite a bit of money as some of these procedures can be quite expensive.
Clinical lecturer Dr P.Karthikeyan said the dental hospital hoped more people would take advantage of the free service available since its opening in November.
AIMST’s third and fourth year dental students who are doing a five-year Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) programme carry out the treatment, two to a cubicle as operator and assistant under the watchful eyes and guidance of their lecturers who are specialists in various treatment disciplines.
And their patients are not only smiling because of the free treatment. They are also happy with the “friendly” communication between patient and trainee throughout the procedure.
“We place a lot of emphasis on good communication skills to allay the fears of patients and make a visit to the dentist a pleasant experience,” Dr Karthikeyan said.
He added that it was also in keeping with the dental hospital’s motto of “We make your smile”.
Even patients who normally face sheer panic in a dentist chair have testified that it is a totally different experience at the dental hospital.
S. Janet, 50, who had a root canal treatment done, said for once she felt comfortable at the dentist and was pleased with the high standards resulting in her tooth being “saved” at no cost to her.
She said the students were diligent in their work and very polite to her.
The students, who come from all over the country, are happy with the teaching and curriculum conducted by an international staff led by the dean, Professor Frederick Smales (pic), formerly with the University of London and Hong Kong, as well as the high-end equipment and tools which they get to learn with.
The polyclinic where the operations take place boasts 132 dental chairs, each costing about RM90,000. Some 40 fourth year students are now practising their skills on patients at the polyclinic. This year, another 50 third year students will join them to make the polyclinic fully operational.