The new University of Portsmouth Dental Academy has marked its successful launch as an innovative centre for dental training by opening its doors to a host of visitors and students.
Professor Nairn Wilson CBE, Dean and Head of King’s College London Dental Institute (KCLDI), joined colleagues and students from Portsmouth in welcoming the first cohort of fifth-year dental undergraduates from Kings and meeting representatives from the local dental community.
On 15 September, students attended their first seminars in the building and had their first sessions in the brand new state-of-the-art clinic.
Meanwhile, more than 80 people from local dental practices toured the new £9 million facility and had an opportunity to see for themselves where dental professionals of the future are being trained.
Staff, students and representatives from the south’s dental practices also converged to hear a lecture by Professor Wilson on The Future of Dentistry.
The Dental Academy is a brand new purpose-designed facility to train final-year undergraduate dentists and dental care professionals.
It represents the innovative educational partnership set up between the University of Portsmouth and KCLDI.
The arrival of the first cohort of 20 students from KCLDI marks a significant milestone and the successful culmination of over two years preparatory planning.
Professor Wilson said that it was a pleasure to welcome the new students from KCLDI and returning students from the University of Portsmouth to the Dental Academy where he looked forward to a long and successful partnership.
Every year, around 80 student dentists from KCLDI will join dental hygiene therapy and nursing students from Portsmouth to train and work together in a team-based model of primary care dentistry for 10 weeks each.
Together, they will provide high quality, prevention-based minimal intervention care to a diverse range of patients in and around Portsmouth, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
The new building development more than doubles the scale of the pre-existing William Beatty building on the Ravelin Park site and adds a further 20 dental training chairs, a radiography suite, a state-of-the-art instrument decontamination centre and a suite of teaching rooms.
The Dental Academy plans to work with key stakeholders including local dental professionals, health and other organisations to raise the oral health aspirations of local communities. It will also offer a proactive and dynamic programme of continuing professional development training events for local dental care professionals.
Building and set up costs were funded by grants from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the NHS.
The additional annual running costs will be funded by contracts with the local NHS and the Dental Service Increment for Teaching (DSIFT).
The University of Portsmouth Dental Academy will sit within the Faculty of Science and replaces the existing School of Professionals Complementary to Dentistry which opened in 2005. The official opening of the new facilities will take place later in the year.
For further information – or to register as a patient – visit www.port.ac.uk/dentalacademy.