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Sask. The dental hygienist course is aimed at students who need evening courses

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A new dental hygienist degree program is launching at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) in September to meet the growing demand for oral health specialists.

“This is very big news for the University of Saskatchewan College of Dentistry and for the province. We will be opening the first dental hygiene degree program in Saskatchewan,” said Walter Siqueira, dean of the College of Dentistry.

Given the nationwide shortage of qualified medical professionals, including in the dental field, the new program aims to meet the growing demand for dental services in the province.

“This is extremely important for the province as we need more dentists, dental assistants, dental hygienists and dental therapists. The College of Dentistry provides this support to Saskatchewan,” Siqueira said.

The program will be unique not only as the only degree option in Saskatchewan – complementing the existing diploma program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic in Regina – but also in its scheduling.

Classes run from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., making it the first program in North America specifically designed for students who need to continue working during the day.

“We serve a niche of the population that needs to continue working during the day and wants to pursue additional training as a dental hygienist in order to participate in our program,” Siqueira said.

The university is expected to launch the program with eighteen students in the fall.