Dental training in north-west England is being enhanced, with new facilities in the universities of Liverpool and Central Lancashire (UCLan).
Students will have mannequin heads on which to practise
Liverpool is opening a £1.1m operative skills suite which has 46 "phantom heads" on which students can work.
This is part of a £6m investment by the Department of Health and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. Student places rise from 275 to 400.
UCLan is opening a £5.25m dental school to provide an extra 32 student places.
The dean of dental studies at Liverpool University, Prof Cynthia Pine, said its investment would provide dental students with the most up-to-date facilities for practising clinical skills before they began work.
"In addition, the new resources will be invaluable to dental patients across Merseyside in accessing the best care available."
UCLan's new school springs from a joint venture with Liverpool and the universities of Lancaster and Cumbria.
They and the North West Strategic Health Authority and local PCT trusts are aiming to tackle what they say is a chronic need for more qualified dentists in the North West.
There were 181 applicants for the first 32 places.
Students will spend their first year studying on UCLan's campus in Preston before relocating for three years' clinical training at one of four new centres in Accrington, Blackpool, Carlisle and Morecambe Bay.
The head of the school, Prof Lawrence Mair, said this would allow students to gain experience in various communities.
"Four years may seem a long time before these first cohorts qualify but, even while they are training, they will be providing treatment in the local areas."