Bulletin of Dental Education

NAU Dental Hygiene Program Travels to Peru

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Northern Arizona University’s (NAU) dental hygiene program is known for having a public health focus. Every summer their students use an externship rotation to improve their patient management skills and provide free services at diverse public health sites in Arizona, California, Utah and abroad. 

During their summer trip to Peru, students spent their final day of the inaugural dental hygiene campaign at Clinica Paz Holandesa, a free children’s hospital, in Arequipa, Peru. The campaign was a collaboration between Peruvian Immersion and NAU. Three senior dental hygiene students and one faculty member provided free dental hygiene services, including prophylaxis, fluoride varnish, GI sealants and oral hygiene instruction, to over 300 special needs children and adults. 

Peru does not recognize dental hygiene as a profession, so there is a real need for preventive care and education. Both Peruvian Immersion and NAU are committed to making the campaign an annual event in the hopes of providing continuity of care for this deserving population. 

Courtesy of Amy N. Smith, RDH, M.S., M.P.H., Northern Arizona University

Published on Oct. 9, 2019

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