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DDS Admissions

Fourth Year Service Learning Rotation (SLR)

SLR Students on rotation

What is SLR?

At the UWSOD all 4th year dental students serve for at least 5 weeks in a community dental clinic delivering dental care to patients in need. Many students report this rotation is the most valuable learning experience of their dental education. During this experience students provide much needed care to underserved patients under the guidance of a preceptor dentist. While serving in these off-site clinics, students have the opportunity to work in a real-life dental setting with their own dental operatory, chairside assistant, and schedule of patients.

Faculty and student with patient

Where Will I Go?

Students travel to and often live in a community outside Seattle for the duration of the rotation, and are immersed in the communities they serve. At this time, we have sites located throughout the state of Washington and a few opportunities in Montana.

How Will SLR Benefit You?

After this rotation, students gain a better understanding of community-based dental service, increase their procedure speed, are trained to work with a chairside assistant. Students will also gain a better understanding of what it’s like to work in a dental office, gain more clinical confidence and feel better prepared for graduation.

Here are some students comments about their SLR experience:

“This rotation has been the highlight of my year. I learned so much by having one on one time with a dentist, and doing procedures multiple times a week. I encountered situations I never had before, and worked around them. I had a great experience.”

“Being in a rural environment has exposed me to a culture and lifestyle that was initially foreign to me, but has changed my perspectives. I am now open to practicing in a more rural environment as I enjoyed my experience immensely, both inside and outside the clinic.”

“This SLR has been invaluable to my learning and decision making. The amount of clinical knowledge I have gained has been tremendous. I cannot express how valuable this experience has been.”