Introduction Newcastle University School of Dental Sciences (NUSDS) and Indiana University School of Dentistry in the United States of America (IUSD) are like-minded institutions committed to civic engagement. Over the last 15 years, both universities have built civic engagement into the dental curricula, however each institution operates within significantly different healthcare systems. Aim Co-development of unique collaborative dental education; the first UK/US educational exchange programme engaged with the dental student community. Design A dental educational exchange was developed enabling NUSDS and IUSD students to learn alongside each other within dental and community settings in both countries. Students participate in a unique face-to-face collaborative and interdisciplinary education programme within respective dental schools and by a series of video conferences scheduled before on-site visits. They gain mutual awareness of delivery, access to care and possible barriers facing patients relating to the oral healthcare systems in England, the state of Indiana and the USA. Logistical considerations were significant, aided by scoping visits to the respective partner school and video conferencing. Planning encompassed timetable restrictions, scheduling student video conferences, students' clinical access/observerships, occupational health clearances, overall educational content, student/staff evaluation and potential areas for education research. Conclusions Currently in its fourth year, this is a unique example of a collaborative educational exchange between the UK and USA.
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