First ‘Hands On’ Student Graduate

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Dental students from the University of Central Lancashire are celebrating this week after graduating from a newly styled dental degree at the £5.25 million School of Dentistry.

Most dental training degrees focus on boosting students’ practical skills by practicing on training devices, usually porcelain heads, but during their training the newly graduated students performed almost 9,500 fillings, saw over 5,000 patients and successfully performed a number of complex procedures.

While there is a lack of fully qualified dental professionals working on the NHS the country over, the drought is particularly serious in the North West of England where the University is located and the new hands on training in the community came about from a close co-operation between the University and the NHS who are eager to boost the dental population and dental training in the area.

The new approach to dental training was undertaken in Accrington, Blackpool, Carlisle and Morecombe Bay, all areas deemed to have low dental health. Dental Education Centres were set up in these areas and were the main bases for the students to gain experience in the community after completing their initial training at the £5.25 million dental training school located in Preston, which boasts one of the most sophisticated dental simulation rooms in Europe where the would-be dentists received some of the best training in the world.

The hopes are that the newly graduated dental students will remain in the area to boost local access to NHS dentists and 21 of the 30 students are hoping to remain in the area.

The University of Central Lancashire has been commended for attempting to boost NHS dentistry in the area and it is hoped that the government’s commitment to improving the ease of access to an NHS dentist in the North West and all areas of England will help improve the dental health of the country.


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