DUBBO will have a brighter smile for helping Charles Sturt University's (CSU) first set of dentistry students down the final straight to graduation.
Residents are currently being treated by 10 visiting fifth-year students for what a CSU spokesman calls "reduced fees".
Even better, the students are getting to know Dubbo and at least one is contemplating finding a job in the city after the all-important ceremony in December.
Adam Barrett, 33, of Terrigal, was set to return to the coast in 2014 before being exposed to the Western NSW lifestyle and career opportunities with the likes of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) .
Two weeks working with the RFDS helped jolt his future plans.
"I've really liked Dubbo so am looking at either getting a job here or further out west," Mr Barrett said.
On deck with him at the university's dental clinic in North Dubbo were fellow students Meredith Hunt, 23, of Gundagai, and Theodore Costa, 26, of Adelaide, also expressed the desire to practise in the country.
That's music to the ears of CSU which launched into training future dentists with the aim of ensuring dental services remained available in regional NSW in the long-term.
The 32 final-year students, half of them from metropolitan cities, spent the first four years of study for a Bachelor of Dental Science at the dentistry school at CSU Orange.
This year the students are undertaking two 12-week placements in CSU dental clinics located at Orange, Wagga Wagga, Bathurst, Albury-Wodonga and Dubbo.
Associate Head of the School of Dentistry and Health Sciences, Dr Sabrina Manickam, said the placements were a chance for the students to experience greater clinical independence before they entered the profession.
"They will be out working in the clinics for 24 weeks of the year," she said.
"There is a real emphasis on clinical independence and networking with local dental practitioners and communities.
"The clinics are open to the public in each of the five locations."
Dr Manickam said the first CSU dentistry graduations in December would be a true celebration for all involved.
"Getting to this point has been hard work for everyone involved but it has been a wonderful experience watching the program and the students develop," she said.
"We all believe in what we're doing and we're very passionate about it."
Ms Hunt said the students currently in Dubbo were performing a range of procedures, from extractions and root canal therapy to fillings and fixing of crowns.