Free dental check up proves popular

The ‘Check Your Smile’ campaign organised by the Centre for Dentistry and Oral Care (CTM), meant to generate more practice patients, has yielded more than 350 registrations.

Registrations for RUG and Hanze University of Applied Sciences students for a free dental check up and diagnostic began on 12 February. For students who remain patients at CTM after the free check up, a 25 per cent discount on any future treatments is included as well. The campaign runs until Friday, 1 April.

Practice, practice, practice

The CTM was running out of patients, especially for the bachelor programme, according to UMCG spokesperson Joost Wessels. The goal of the campaign is to increase the number of patients so that dentistry students can continue to practice on real patients.

How many students will stay on after the first free dental check is difficult to estimate, especially because this is the first time CTM is organising this campaign. Wessels expects that more than half the people who registered will remain patients. ‘We’d like to keep them at CTM for a long time by offering good quality and low rates, at least while they’re studying here. After graduation, some of them move away, after all’, Wessels explains.

The dentistry students’ workload will not increase, the spokesperson emphasises. ‘The campaign is specifically meant to prevent the number of patients from dropping too low. Now, we have enough to continue our teaching activities.’


The ailing CTM is looking for ways to bolster the quality of its education after the critical Szabo report and a significant deficit in the annual budget. The latter was only recently discovered and even led to the delay of the new T2020 curriculum. ‘We need sufficient patients in order to guarantee the quality of education’, says Wessels. ‘That is why we’re having this campaign.’ Wessels is unable to comment on any financial gains due to the free check up: ‘We have no insight into the revenue as of yet. Those will be evaluated afterwards.’

The ‘Check Your Smile’ campaign is just one of the points on interim manager’s Lina van der Ploeg’s list. She was tasked with setting things right. However, the improvements are not being implemented as quickly as she would like, Van der Ploeg told the UK in a recent interview. The pace had to be adjusted due to a deficit of nearly one million euros.