The first objective of the grant is to implement a cloud-based patient management system that will create efficiencies for expanding its clinical presence across the state. The second is to increase clinical rotations and dental hygiene care to underserved populations in western South Dakota, which is identified as a South Dakota dental shortage area.

“The USD School of Health Sciences Department of Dental Hygiene is integral to addressing dental prevention and care needs for our state,” said Miranda Drake, department chair. “We will provide clinical experiences for students that will improve services for residents, regardless of geographic location in the state.”

Through the implementation of the new cloud-based system, the dental hygiene program will be able to provide more efficient care to its approximately 3,000 patients, the majority of those being children ages 0-19. The $50,000 grant will be administered over the next two years.

As the only dental hygiene program in the state of South Dakota, the USD Dental Hygiene Clinic provides preventive services such as prophylaxis, non-surgical periodontal therapy, radiographs and fluoride to patients of all ages.

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