The University of Portsmouth Dental Academy officially opened its refurbished facilities at a launch event on December 1, 2023.

The facilities were opened by Nairn Wilson, president emeritus of the College of General Dentistry and emeritus professor of dentistry, King's College London.

The Dental Academy is a modern, primary care-based school that educates dental nurses, hygienists and therapists for General Dental Council registration as dental care professionals.

The school benefits from a long-standing partnership with King’s College London, whose dental students work alongside Portsmouth students to enhance their collective clinical experience. The school offers comprehensive oral and dental healthcare to the public, delivered predominantly by students in state-of-the-art facilities.

Chris Louca, director of the University of Portsmouth Dental Academy, said, “There is an emphasis on practical teaching within the Dental Academy, and these developments and new equipment will ensure our students are trained in modern facilities offering enhanced teaching, resulting in improved oral healthcare for all our patients.”

Students train in practice teams using modern clinical facilities that replicate those found in real NHS dental practices. The school’s evidence-based approach to education is further enhanced by its involvement with various areas of research.

The Dental Academy has completed a significant £5m upgrade to its facilities, which now feature modern ‘phantom head’ units, new digital dentistry equipment, dental training simulators which combine virtual reality with mixed reality to offer a high-fidelity haptic experience (technology that creates an experience of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user), and upgraded patient clinics designed to offer a real-world experience for students.

Ruth Monger, joint interim director of the workforce, training and education directorate in NHS England, South East region, said, “Our investment represents a commitment to growing and developing our dental workforce. The university is an important partner for NHSE England to deliver the Long-Term Workforce Plan. This cutting-edge learning environment will equip current and future dental practitioners with the skills and competence required for delivering high-quality dental services.”