LONDON, ONT. -- Dental hygiene students at Fanshawe College are now fully equipped with all the bells and whistles, as the college is set to open its new oral health clinic to clients this May.

“It is amazing. It's state of the art, we have all new equipment the best that we could get,” said Dental Assistant Program Coordinator Jennifer Cooper.

The brand new state-of-the-art clinic has been built at Fanshawe’s London Campus, and is now welcoming third-year dental hygiene and dental assistant students so they can continue their hands-on education.

“Oh they were so excited when they arrived - all the smiles on their faces,” said manager of Health and Wellness at Fanshawe College, Sylvie Richer.

Due to COVID-19, many Fanshawe students were spending their third year of education learning from their computer screens.

In order to change all that, the facility was built with COVID-19 protocols and regulations foremost in mind.

“It’s everything we wanted and everything to do with infection control with COVID-19 guidelines. Dental hygiene is considered one of the highest risk professions, especially with COVID-19, so air circulations is very important and we have barriers in place to keep clients, students and faculty safe,” said Kelly Turner, coordinator of the Dental Hygiene Program.

Construction first began on Building A at the college in December of 2019, and the facility will be open to clients in May.

It is a three-year program for any aspiring hygiene and assistant students, where they are offered hands-on learning in a real-life environment.

Students will work on mannequins, then peers and work their way up to live clients with supervision.

Fanshawe College is also looking for clients of all ages for students to examine this summer.

Oral Health Clinic services include:

  • Complete Examination: Intra and extraoral assessments.
  • Full Mouth Cleaning: Removal of plaque and calculus.
  • Home Care Instruction: Caring for your mouth the right way on a daily basis is vital. We will work with you to show you how.
  • Individualized Care: All treatment is client-centered; client needs are addressed in a professional and competent environment.

Turner says they’re welcoming people who may not have visited the dentist for a long period of time due to COVID-19.

“It will also be at a reduced cost, typically the examination is $40. It is supervised with instructors and students take multiple appointments to go through the entire assessment and teeth cleaning as well.”