New £9m dentist training centre opens in the city

Anjali Singh, a final year dental student with Shalin Sharma, a final year student hygienist therapist in the new dental academy. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (110381-1013)
Anjali Singh, a final year dental student with Shalin Sharma, a final year student hygienist therapist in the new dental academy. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (110381-1013)
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A NEW £9m state-of-the-art centre for training dental professionals of the future has opened in the city.

Health Minister Lord Howe officially opened the University of Portsmouth’s Dental Academy yesterday.

The academy – which offers free treatment to 2,000 city residents every year, including children – is a partnership between the University of Portsmouth and King’s College Dental Institute in London.

Every year 80 final-year dental students from London will join dental hygiene, therapy and dental nursing students from Portsmouth to train and work together in teams.

Lord Howe, who is the minister in charge of dentistry, said: ‘I was delighted to see the high quality hands-on training provided at Portsmouth Dental Academy.

‘We are committed to improving oral health for adults and children as well as increasing access to NHS dental services across the country.

‘The University of Portsmouth Dental Academy has an important role to play in delivering on this agenda. They are providing first-class training and education for our future dentists and dental care professionals and excellent services to patients in the area.’

While helping trainees become qualified, it’s also of great benefit to people who can’t afford to get private dental treatment or find a dentist on the NHS.

Siegfrieg Tatura, 56, from Fratton, goes to the academy for treatment.

He said: ‘They give very good treatment and have a very good team of staff.

‘I’d recommend coming here to anyone.’

Shalin Sharma, 21, from Portsmouth, who is training at the centre, added: ‘It’s really good here. We’re working with the very top materials and equipment. We’re getting a fantastic experience.’

Fellow trainee, Angali Singh, 24, said: ‘Normally we would train in a hospital setting but this is more realistic and more like being in a dental practice.’

Sara Holmes, director of the Dental Academy, which is funded by the Department of Health, local NHS and Higher Education Funding Council for England, said: ‘Everyone who has contributed to making this happen should be extremely proud of creating a unique facility which will leave a lasting legacy in the city.’