The Queen Mary University of London’s (QMUL’s) new dental school, based in the new Royal London Dental Hospital opened its doors recently.
It is the first new dental school and hospital to open its doors in almost 40 years.
Students will have access to the most up-to-date technology and equipment
With the proportion of adults in Tower Hamlets, London with decayed teeth at 39%, above the national average of 30% (NHS, 2011), and with the percentage of under-fives experiencing dental decay set at 39.1% (national average 30.9%) (NHS, 2012), the new dental school will be a welcome addition to the east end of London.
Work started on the new hospital in Whitechapel in January 2012 and completed on 17 February 2014.
All materials from the demolished buildings have been recycled.
Included in the new hospital are 300 rooms, 12 exam rooms with X-rays, 10 maxillo-facial surgeries and one simulated operating theatre.
Patients will now benefit from 15% more space compared with the old dental hospital.
There are 300 rooms, 12 exam rooms with X-rays, 10 maxillo-facial surgeries and one simulated operating theatre at the hospital
Despite expecting to receive around 33,000 referrals per year and more than 70,000 dental appointments each year, the hospital has a clean, modern and fresh feel to it.
This was underlined by receiving a ‘very good’ NEAT score (NHS Environmental Assessment Tool).
The hospital expects to receive more than 70,000 dental appointments per year
Students attending the QMUL’s new dental school are an active part of the hospital’s clinical workforce.
There are 318 lecture theatre seats, 600 seminar seats and 72 phantom heads to practise on.
QMUL is expecting to receive around 400 dental students to the facilities each year.
Patients now benefit from 15% more space compared with the old dental hospital
An exciting day
When the new hospital opened, Professor Mike Curtis, dean for dentistry at Queen Mary University of London, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, said: ‘Today’s an exciting day for our dental school.
'Not only will the new facilities hugely improve the student learning experience, it will also enable us build on our existing reputation for world-class research and innovation and excellence in patient care.’
The hospital has 318 lecture theatre seats, 600 seminar seats and 72 phantom heads to practise on
Dr Philip Taylor, clinical director for dentistry at QMUL and Barts Health NHS Trust, was our guide around the university and his pride for the hospital was clear.
Dr Taylor, said: ‘Dentistry involves far more than simply fillings, crowns and braces.
'Procedures such as oral rehabilitation and facial reconstruction are complex and it’s crucial for us to continue training dentists with the most up-to-date technology and techniques to ensure our patients get the best care now and into the future.
'We hope the opening of the new school will soon pave the way for us to expand our educational offering for the next generation of dentists.’
The most up-to-date technology and equipment is essential for students to come out of the university fully trained and ready for the world of dentistry.
Dr Philip Taylor and Dr Wendy Turner, head of centre for adult oral health, went through the labyrinth of equipment available in the market to pick what best suited the university.
Dr Turner led visitors through the clinical facilities where students get to practise routine dental treatments on patients.
Visitors were then shown around the hospital, away from the patients.
Dr Taylor presented the state-of-the-art X-ray rooms and classrooms for students to practise treatments on phantom heads and false teeth.
Around 400 students are expected in the facilities each year
Professor Mike Curtis concluded: ‘We are extremely proud to be situated in Whitechapel, teaching and providing clinical care to the thriving and diverse populations of east London.
'Our local communities face some of the most challenging health needs of anywhere in the UK, and the new dental hospital has a key role to play in benefiting our community, as part of Queen Mary’s continued investment in local surroundings and patient-focused research.’
NHS (2011) Oral health of adults [Online] http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/search.aspx?cx=008280465879053608327:251xeiiz6ey&cof=FORID:11;NB:1&ie=UTF-8&q=oral%20health [accessed 30 June 2014].
NHS (2012) Early Years, Childhood and Adolescent Health in Tower Hamlets [Online] http://moderngov.towerhamlets.gov.uk/documents/s31710/4.1b%20-%20Childrens%20Health%20Priorities%20Appendix%202.docx [accessed 30 June 2014].
For more information on the Royal London Dental Hospital please visit www.bartshealth.nhs.uk/our-hospitals/the-royal-london-hospital and to find out more information on the Queen Mary University of London please visit: www.qmul.ac.uk.