University of Bristol’s New £36 Million Dental School Sets Benchmark in Dental Education

Students outside the front of Bristol Dental School
Image credit: University of Bristol

(IN BRIEF) The University of Bristol has officially opened its cutting-edge Dental School at the Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus, representing a £36 million investment. The state-of-the-art facility spans 7,300 square meters and aims to revolutionize dental education and clinical training. It increases student enrollment capacity by 25%, expanding the institution’s commitment to training the next generation of dental professionals. The Dental School offers free dental treatment to the local community and includes a daily emergency dental clinic, significantly improving accessibility to dental care in the area. The project has also fostered community partnerships and features captivating public art installations.

(PRESS RELEASE) BRISTOL, 8-Sep-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — University of Bristol, a red brick Russell Group research university, is proud to announce the grand opening of its state-of-the-art Dental School, located at the prestigious Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus. This monumental £36 million investment marks a significant milestone in advancing dental education and clinical training.

Nestled at 1 Trinity Quay, Avon Street, the new Dental School spans an impressive 7,300 square metres and promises to revolutionize the way dentists, hygienists, therapists, dental nurses, and the broader dental team receive training. This world-class facility is set to enhance the capacity for student enrollment by approximately 25 percent, reinforcing Bristol’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of dental professionals. The renovation and construction of this groundbreaking institution were expertly executed by the Kier Group.

The Dental School boasts a remarkable 119 dental chairs distributed across six clinical areas, where students will receive invaluable support from dedicated teams of dental nurses, dental technicians, sterilization staff, and patient administration personnel. This expansion aligns perfectly with the NHS Long Term Plan’s vision for increased dental and hygiene/therapy training.

Continuing its tradition of community engagement, the University remains steadfast in offering free dental treatment to the local population. Undergraduate students, under the supervision of qualified clinical dentists, will continue to deliver care at the new location. This pioneering model of training, overseen by a Higher Education Institute, has been developed in collaboration with local NHS commissioners and Healthwatch Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire.

Every year, Bristol dental students administer up to 60,000 episodes of patient care to individuals across the city and its environs. In addition to their regular duties, the Dental School will host a daily emergency dental clinic during university term time, with appointments exclusively booked through the 111 helpline. This critical service will double the availability of emergency dental appointments in the local area, contributing significantly to community well-being. Please note that all appointments must be pre-booked, and walk-in patients cannot be accommodated.

Embracing the ethos of the Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus, the University has fostered strong partnerships with Bristol City Council and various local community groups, including the Barton Hill Micro Campus. This collaborative effort has resulted in the creation of new job opportunities at the Dental School and has ensured that local residents are informed about the free treatment options available. The institution is also committed to engaging with local schools to inspire and educate students about careers in dentistry.

Adding a touch of artistic flair to the building, the design is adorned with captivating public art featuring unique characters known as “The Denticles.” These charming creations, designed by Gav Strange, Director & Designer at Aardman, the Academy Award®-winning animation studio in Bristol, take the form of five sculptures at the building’s entrance and delightful character cushions in the children’s waiting area. Additionally, local artist Bex Glover has lent her talents to the Dental School, crafting two striking murals that incorporate these endearing toothy characters. One mural graces the main reception area, showcasing iconic Bristol landmarks, while the other adorns the children’s waiting area with vibrant depictions of local animals, plants, and flowers.

The University of Bristol is thrilled to unveil this remarkable Dental School, which stands as a testament to its dedication to dental education, community health, and artistic collaboration.

Dr Barry Main, Head of the Dental School and Consultant Senior Lecturer in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, said: “The majority of teaching in our new primary-care facility will enable students to work as part of multi-professional teams. Being alongside trainees in dental hygiene, therapy, and nursing mirrors the environment of real-world practice. While we will retain our links with local NHS partners to deliver training in specialist clinics and in postgraduate education, our new primary-care focussed model will allow a tailor-made approach that ensures each student leaves us ready for day one of foundation training. Our new curriculum, developed in the last five years, is underpinned by an ethos of personal development, evidence-based practice, and integrated patient care. And our new School will bring the practical embodiment of that curriculum to the benefit of our students and their patients, as we continue to provide treatment in an inclusive environment for the local community.”

Final year dental student Joey Brett said: “I’ll be going into the final year of my dentistry degree, and I’m really excited about working in the new Dental School. The interior of the building has been completely redesigned for its new use. The bays are spacious and appealing to both patients and caregivers and there is a fresh and modern feel throughout. It will be a really nice environment in which to welcome patients and I hope our patients will feel the same. The location, right next to Temple Meads railway station, is convenient. The new school sits at the heart of an area of the city undergoing redevelopment and there are great views over Trinity Quay. It just helps make a visit to the Dental School more pleasant.”

Professor Evelyn Welch, Vice-Chancellor, and President of the University of Bristol added: “It is fantastic to see these wonderful new facilities open today. This marks a significant milestone for the University’s strategy as we embark on a mission to both revolutionise dental education and make a profound, positive impact on our local community.”

Jason Taylor, Regional Director at Kier Construction Western & Wales, said: “We are extremely proud to have delivered this project, which will provide the University of Bristol with more capacity and new, high-quality facilities for its dental students. This project builds on our long-standing relationships in the city with the University, Bristol City Council, and our strong local supply chain. Kier is committed to delivering social infrastructure for communities, and the new dental school is an important development which will benefit the people of Bristol for years to come.”

Gav Strange, creator of The Denticles said: “We’re delighted that the Denticles will be there to welcome visitors to Bristol’s amazing new Dental School. We hope they’ll bring some extra fun and make people smile.”

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SOURCE: University of Bristol


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