Teaching Unit to Boost Access to Dental Service in Wales

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A new dental teaching unit in South Wales will improve access to dental services for local people and provide excellent clinical experience for students.

The Cardiff and Vale University Health Board chose to develop the unit at Mountain Ash after it was revealed that there is a severe shortage of dentists in the area, with an estimated 10,000 people waiting to register with a dentist.

The unit, located in the Cynon Valley, will provide basic dental treatments and services free of charge. Fifth year dental students from Cardiff University Dental School will be supervised by trained professionals and will be able to gain valuable professional experience, as well as having the opportunity to develop their communication and social skills.

Once patients have been treated at the unit they will be offered advice about registering with a dental practice and having regular dental check-ups. The new unit will house 18 treatment booths and patients can access all services provided by a general dental practice.

Peter Ash, consultant in charge, said that the new facility will be mutually beneficial for local people and students. The unit has been opened in the area because there is a clear need for better dental services, with thousands of people currently not registered with a dentist.

The dental unit is the first phase of development of a new hospital in Mountain Ash. Work should be completed by the end of the year and the hospital will provide mental health services, an outpatient’s clinic, a GP out of hours service, a minor injuries unit, rehabilitation facilities, radiology services and 120 beds in six wards.

 

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