New dental teaching clinic

Posted on June 8, 2011

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Smiles all round at Bendigo

Open wide! Minister Hall with dentistry students Andrew Sproll and Alison Thomas at the opening of the new clinic.

The opening of a new teaching clinic at Bendigo has highlighted the role of La Trobe University’s dental program as a leading health training provider for regional Australia.

The clinic increases access for dental and oral health students to the latest technology in dental education.

Professor Jane Farmer, Head of the La Trobe Rural Health School, said the teaching clinic, which includes a mini laboratory, will also treat dental patients. It is operated jointly by Bendigo Health and La Trobe University.

The refurbishment and expansion of the Dental Teaching Clinic is part of a regional drive by La Trobe to enhance health education and to address the needs of the community by bringing specialist dental care to regional areas.

Commenting in the Bendigo Advertiser, Victoria’s Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Peter Hall MLC, said the unit was a boost for the region. Research showed that medical professionals trained in regional areas were 70 per cent more likely to remain in those areas, he added.

The University’s dental facilities include a 64-chair simulation laboratory, a 31-chair general purpose laboratory and the new teaching clinic. Around 70 students are enrolled each year in La Trobe’s dentistry and oral health science programs.

Professor Peter Wilson, Head of Dentistry and Oral Health, said the new clinic would help provide students with first-hand experience in some of the more complex technical activities of dentistry.

Benchmark for regional dental education

‘It complements our existing 10 chair teaching clinic. Together they set the ,’ he said.

The new clinic has been funded by a $2 million grant from the State Government, and by the Federal Government as part its $59.6m contribution to the La Trobe Rural Health School.

Bendigo Health Community and Continuing Care Executive Director, Liz Hamilton, said the new facility brings the number of dental chairs at the Bendigo Community Dental Clinic to 29.

‘This expansion has been a great example of a health service working with a university to provide high-quality clinical experiences in regional Victoria. This will result in increased health practitioners and an expanded clinical service to our community,’ she said.ete with tissue culture facilities – to produce transgenic crops with increased tolerance against fungal disease.