The clinic includes six training surgeries and a state-of-the-art dental skills laboratory and is already being used to teach MSc students in periodontology.
‘I’m delighted in the interest this development has received from the dental profession,’ said Professor Phil Cannell, lead for oral health science at the University of Essex.
‘Our goals are to provide high quality education to further develop the skills and knowledge of dental professionals, which will in turn lead to enhanced care for patients.’
The dental clinic is the latest development in the university’s growing oral health provision including the largest dental hygienist and therapist training programme in the UK.
The clinic is one of only a handful of places in the country where advanced periodontology is taught and it is the only place in England to teach these courses in a non-teaching hospital setting.
The new teaching facility is a step towards enhancing the dental treatments available to patients in a primary care setting, which may prove more cost-effective than in a traditional teaching hospital.
‘I would hope that this kind of facility can be replicated in other regions of the country,’ Nick Barker, one of the principal dentists at the clinic, concluded.