A year after opening, it is all smiles at the Northern Dental Education Centre (NORDEC) in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

The state-of-the-art dental training and education facility at Bradford College is celebrating a successful first year of teaching dentistry courses, primarily to apprentice and trainee dental nurses.

The centre, which was officially opened by Judith Cummins MP last September, has plenty to grin about too, having welcomed in three cohorts of dental nursing apprentices and seen its first group of level two students record a 100% pass rate for the technical certificate in Working in Dental Settings.

Eve Massaad, NORDEC centre manager, said: ‘over the course of the first 12 months, there has been great focus placed on community outreach with regards to increasing public awareness of oral health within our local community.

‘A number of events have been introduced in order to both encourage and improve oral health within the Bradford community.

‘Events and incentives have been run with the aim of encouraging the youth of Bradford into the various career pathways available within the dentistry sector.’

In the next year, as well as continuing to deliver the level two programme of study and apprenticeship in dental nursing, NORDEC aims to become one of the region’s leading centres in the delivery of professional development through a range of continuing professional development (CPD) and commercial courses that are set to launch in October.

The £500,000 high-spec NORDEC facility was a joint enterprise between Bradford College and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and is housed in the college’s £10 million Advanced Technology Centre on Randall Well Street in the city centre.

The centre includes a classroom that is set up as a dental surgery and one filled with phantom heads – realistic open-mouthed manikins that give learners the opportunity to practise in close to real-life conditions. The facility also boasts a decontamination suite and space for lectures, conferences and workshops.

Henna Hussain was among the learners to complete the level two qualification and has now secured a dental nursing apprenticeship at Rayner’s Dental Practice in Bradford. She said: ‘I had an incredibly wonderful year and would most definitely recommend the level two course.

‘Gaining an in-depth insight into the dental field has made a profound impact on my ability to progress in my dental nursing apprenticeship.’

Also progressing from the level two course to becoming an apprentice dental nurse is Iram Hussain.

Iram said: ‘the level two dental course was a very informative insight to dentistry and the situations we would face.

‘The tutors showed us the different treatments we would assist in and which instruments would be needed.

‘They also explained why we do the different treatments and why we use certain instruments. After doing this course, I personally think that it has given me an advantage when working in a dental practice as well as progressing to level three which is an apprenticeship in dental nursing.’

Visit www.bradfordcollege.ac.uk/study/nordec for more information.