Maintaining oral health standards among large populations is a struggle shared by several states in the international community, but steps are being taken to shore up weaknesses. In New Zealand, for instance, lawmakers recently pushed through a piece of groundbreaking legislation that would increase the number of dental students in the country for the first time in more than 50 years. To handle the increased enrollment, universities and clinics can adopt dental academic software to help streamline systems, improving organization and enhancing current practices.
Administrators at the University of Otago are excited to begin accepting more dental students than they have since 1961, the Otago Daily Times reported. Increasing oral health problems in the nation's rural communities have encouraged legislators to push the existing cap on dental students from 54 to 60. While at a cursory glance, the addition of six students doesn't seem particularly groundbreaking. However, the university boasts New Zealand's sole dentistry program, so even a small increase is significant.
Enrollment in the U.S.
The decision to allow more students into the program, while driven by local circumstances, highlights a growing demand for dental students around the globe. In the U.S., for instance, student enrollment has been steadily increasing since the early 2000s. According to a survey from the American Dental Association, between 2001 and 2011, dental school enrollment rose by an estimated 3,000. Dentistry students in the U.S. now number more than 20,000.
Going by past figures, dental school enrollment, especially in the U.S., is likely to continue growing at the steady pace established over the last decade. To handle the influx of students, universities and their adjoining clinics will need to adhere to best practices in order to maintain a manageable organizational structure, and that means investing in dental school software.
Leveraging this technology, school administers can optimize a number of existing processes and even eliminate some of the more laborious ones. For instance, communicating with students is made simple by the software, allowing quick electronic exchanges between students, professors and patients. The system's efficient design allows users to work on multiple tasks simultaneously, including an auto-fill feature to help expedite documentation. Additionally, students will be better prepared for future employment by gaining experience with the system early, as dental software is quickly becoming a staple in dental practices around the globe.