Extending Dental Care

As part of its effort to expand access to dental care across the state, the College of Dentistry at UTHSC, with assistance from UT Knoxville, held its first dental education course in East Tennessee.

The Expanded Functions for Dental Auxiliary (EFDA) continuing education course is held in the UT Culinary Institute and Creamery at UT Knoxville. A ceremonial “floss cutting” was held to kick off the class and recognize UTHSC College of Dentistry’s new presence in Knoxville.

The EFDA course trains credentialed dental assistants and dental hygienists to perform certain procedures currently done by licensed dentists, thereby expanding the delivery of dental care. These procedures include some restorative and prosthetic care, including placement of fillings, temporaries for crowns and making impressions for various fixed and removable dental protheses.

“The EFDA does play a big part in addressing the access-to-care crisis that we have in Tennessee,” says Jerry McKinney, assistant professor and director of the Expanded Functions Programs in the UTHSC College of Dentistry. “If you have an EFDA in your office doing restorative dentistry, it can increase the number of patients seen in an office a minimum of 15 percent up to 40 percent. That’s huge.”

10-Year Accreditation Reaffirmed

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) reaffirmed its accreditation of the UT Health Science Center for 10 years.

SACSCOC is the accrediting body for universities and colleges in the Southern United States. SACSCOC evaluates institutions for compliance on more than 100 quality standards, including academic programs, student success, financial resources, physical facilities, faculty accomplishments, student support services and procedures and policies.

Though accreditation is voluntary, federal student financial aid funds are tied to an institution’s accreditation status, as are individual college accreditations. UTHSC has been accredited by SACSCOC since 1972.

Spring Commencement Held

UTHSC Dentistry Students posed in their cap and gowns.
UTHSC dentistry students prepare for their graduation in May.

UTHSC awarded 1,002 degrees at its 2022 Spring Commencement Ceremonies May 9-10 in Memphis and May 18 in Knoxville. Each of UTHSC’s six colleges held in-person ceremonies.

UTHSC Chancellor Peter Buckley conferred the degrees at each ceremony. UT System President Randy Boyd spoke at several of the ceremonies.