Region Västmanland joins the dentistry campaign

Jönköping University, in collaboration with Linköping University and Region Jönköping County wants to start a new dental training programme. Of Sweden's 21 regions, 13 have joined the campaign.

Region Västmanland is the latest region to support the collaboration for a new dental training programme. The new education can, with support from the regions, offer students 150 days of practical training at dental clinics all over Sweden.

- It is both interesting and personally developing to be part of the start of a new dental training programme, said Claes Stelander, CEO of Public Dental Care Västmanland.

The new dental education programme takes its cue from rapid technological developments and uses cutting-edge technology from the outset. Before students see their first patients, they practice drills virtually in simulators developed to train manual skills for dental treatment.

Why do more than half of Sweden's regions support a new dental training programme?

- We are in dire need of dentists in Västmanland and will recruit 10 new dentists this year, said Claes Stenlander. The work placement courses will give us a closer relationship with the student and give us a chance to hire them afterwards. The advantage of this new dental programme is that dental students may become interested in Västmanland and the public dental care in Västmanland as future workplaces.

Dental expertise is currently concentrated in metropolitan areas, and large-scale retirements are creating skills gaps that - according to the University Chancellor's Office forecast for 2021 - are expected to persist until at least 2035, if nothing is done about it.

“Dentists are currently in short supply in Sweden, and many citizens are not receiving the help they need. In other words, dental health is not equal today. With the new technology, the close cooperation with Region Jönköping County and the education provided in dental clinics around the country, our education helps to secure dental competence for the future,” says Agneta Marell, President at Jönköping University.

The new programme will increase the number of existing study places for dentists and complement the current dental programme locations, all of which have a long history: Stockholm (started in 1898), Malmö (started in 1949), Umeå (started in 1956) and Gothenburg (started in 1967). Collaboration around the new dental centre will create the conditions for innovation and research collaboration, as well as co-teaching with students in the medical school at Linköping University.

“This will be the first new dental education in over 50 years and will create the conditions for more dentists throughout Sweden and thus a more equal dental care and better dental health,” says Agneta Marell.

The work on a new dental education is led in close collaboration with Linköping University, Region Jönköping County and Jönköping University.

Read more about the new dental education here (in Swedish)

The 13 regions that have signed the letter of intent are:

Region Blekinge, Region Dalarna, Region Gävleborg, Region Halland, Region Jönköping county, Region Kalmar county, Region Kronoberg, Region Norrbotten, Region Värmland, Region Västernorrland, Region Västmanland, Region Örebro county och Region Östergötland.