(L-R) Graduate Daniela Vargas, graduate Wendy Thompson, head of school Angela Magee and final year graduate entry bachelor of dental surgery student Elie Martin celebrated for transformational impact on North West communities

The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) pioneering approach to dental education has been named as one of the UK’s 100 best breakthroughs for its significant impact on people’s everyday lives.

UCLan’s School of Dentistry has been honoured in the UK’s Best Breakthroughs list of the last century for its ground-breaking work in improving local oral health.

The dental school, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is having a big impact on the local community.

Expanding the region’s dental workforce

One of only two new dental schools to be created in England for more than 100 years, its students have treated more than 23,000 patients during their training and the school has produced 251 new dentists who have expanded the region’s dental workforce considerably.

UCLan was the first to execute a new model of dental education, which allows graduate entry BSc students to gain their experience in in areas of high need and poor dental health where access to NHS dentistry was previously limited.

The list of breakthroughs demonstrates how UK universities are at the forefront of some of the world’s most important discoveries, innovations and social initiatives, including the discovery of penicillin, work tackling plastic pollution, ultrasound scans to check the health of unborn babies and the establishment of the living wage.

The list was compiled by Universities UK, the umbrella group for UK universities, as part of the MadeAtUni campaign to change public perceptions of universities and bring to life the difference they make to people, lives and communities across the UK.

Angela Magee, head of the UCLan School of Dentistry, said: ‘It is a fantastic achievement for the UCLan School of Dentistry to be featured in the UK’s Best Breakthrough list.

‘We’re extremely proud of the work we have done over the last 10 years and difference we are making to people, lives and communities.

This recognition is a fitting way to mark our 10th anniversary and we can proudly say that over the last decade UCLan has produced more than 250 fully qualified dentists who have gone onto work in the NHS, filling a skills gap in areas of the region that lacked local dental services.

‘The MadeAtUni campaign is an incredibly important initiative for UCLan as it allows students, alumni, the local community and the wider population to understand the work that we do and the impact it has.’

You can find out more about the UK’s Best Breakthroughs and the MadeAtUni campaign here.

The UCLan School of Dentistry has also produced a series of informative lecturers about dental health care that are available online.