Dentistry and oral health students studying at the University of Adelaide now have access to one of the best training facilities in the nation, thanks to a new $6 million state-of-the-art dental skills clinic at the University.
Known as the Dental Simulation Clinic, the space provides a high-tech environment where students can learn the latest dental techniques, practise the care of patients in a simulated clinic, and come to grips with the variety of equipment needed in a real clinical setting.
The new simulation clinic has been made possible thanks to a $2.8 million grant from Health Workforce Australia, with additional funding from the University and the South Australian Foundation for Dental Education and Research (SAFDER). It will officially be launched tonight by the Hon. Kate Ellis MP, Member for Adelaide.
"Our new Dental Simulation Clinic places the University of Adelaide at the forefront of dental education and training in Australia. It is the first facility of its kind in the State and one of the best in the nation," says the Dean of the School of Dentistry, Professor Johann de Vries.
"The new clinic is really a series of mini clinics all in the one space. They feature everything you would expect to see in a real clinical environment, and more.
"There are dozens of practice and treatment stations, each with a simulated patient and computers that provide education material. The simulation clinic is also equipped with some of the latest in virtual reality haptic technology that provides immediate tactile feedback to students while performing their different tasks. Students have access to the latest audio visual equipment that will greatly benefit the students' learning."
Professor de Vries says the new clinic will not only help students to become familiar with and comfortable working in a real-world environment, it will also be an important location for examinations for the profession and ongoing professional education.
The University of Adelaide's Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Warren Bebbington, says the new clinic is in keeping with the University's vision for a quality educational experience.
"Our new Dental Simulation Clinic is a large, dedicated teaching space, but it's also a highly flexible one. With small teams able to work at each simulation station, this flexible space will support our move towards small group learning and discovery," Professor Bebbington says.
"The $6 million facility will be critical in developing all-important clinical skills needed by students, and this will directly benefit the oral health of communities right across Australia in future years," he says.