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New Dental Teaching Laboratory at UP

10 March 2009 No Comment

The University of Pretoria’s Dental School opened a new pre-clinical skills laboratory aimed at assisting dental students with practical training.

The Pre-clinical skills laboratory, worth approximately R5-million, will be used to train pre-clinical (3rd year) dental students in Restorative Dentistry (cavity preparation and restoring teeth) on “phantom heads” (i.e. artificial heads and jaws).

The laboratory will also be used to teach students how to perform restorative dentistry procedures before they are allowed to work on real life situations (mainly in their 4th and 5th years of study).

Additionally, the new facility will enable students to also learn how to do endodontic treatment (root canal treatment) on extracted teeth, before they can perform it on live patients in their senior years.

“This new facility will enable us to train students with world class facilities – comparable with the best which are available in the world. The facilities were designed to duplicate the conditions which the students will experience in their clinical years.

They will also use exactly the same type and quality of equipment e.g. dental drills, operating light, suction etc, found in the clinical wards,” said Mannfred Dannheimer – an associate professor in the Dental School’s Department of Odontology and also a person in charge of the laboratory.

Prof Francois de Wet – Head of the Department of Odontology pointed out additional technological features found in the new laboratory.

“We now also have ultra modern audio-visual facilities which will allow our staff to demonstrate certain techniques to students, and they will be able to see everything on their own personal TV monitors.

We will also be able to show students DVD’s of modern techniques. We will also be able to do demonstrations in this lab., and then transmit it to two lecture halls in the building so that we can use the facility for Refresher Courses for dentists in private practice,” he said.

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