BRITAIN’S top dentist has hailed Portsmouth as a trailblazer for dental training excellence nationwide.
Dr Sara Hurley made the comments during a tour of the University of Portsmouth’s newly-revamped dental academy.
The institution now features all the latest, state-of-the-art training facilities following a £1.3m upgrade.
Officially opening the site, Dr Hurley said other universities could take a leaf out of Portsmouth’s book when it came to training future dental practitioners.
She said: ‘Having a facility like this, training the dental practitioners of the future, is essential. It’s critical.
‘I would see a number of other training establishments taking a long hard look at this.
‘Portsmouth is in the vanguard and they are waiting to see the success, which I’m confident Portsmouth will deliver.
‘I think we will see a fundamental shift in a number of other training models because of what Portsmouth is doing.’
The education centre trains more than 170 students each year.
As well as supporting dental hygienist and dental nursing training, the facility – in Hampshire Terrace – is attended by dental students from Kings College in London.
There are hopes the university site will now be able to expand its offering to include a dental technician course in the near future.
As part of the building’s makeover, there has been a total overhaul of the facilities inside the clinic.
All 24 bays at the centre have been installed with new equipment which is being used to prepare students for future patients.
And two of the adjacent surgery rooms have been overhauled.
Director of the University of Portsmouth Dental Academy Professor Chris Louca said: ‘This was the original dental clinic set up when the school opened in 2005.
‘The equipment was 12 years old and it was beginning to not function so well. So we took the opportunity to refurbish the whole clinic so all 24 bays have been completely refurbished with modern, up-to-date equipment.
‘The idea is to make sure that our students and our staff are able to work within modern, up-to-date, state-of-the-art facilities.’