Page last updated at 14:49 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 15:49 UK

City students offer dental care

Plymouth dental clinic
The school plans to treat more than 120 patients a week

People in Devon and Cornwall unable to find an NHS dentist are being offered the opportunity to help students operating a free treatment clinic.

Students from the Peninsula Dental School are offering services at the Dental Education Clinic in Plymouth.

The students are working under the supervision of a qualified dental tutor at the clinic, next to the NHS Plymouth Cumberland Centre in Devonport.

The school said it expected to treat about 120 patients a week in term time.

Purpose-built

The clinic, which is situated in one of the most deprived areas of the city, has 40 dental chairs in five bays of eight, plus three single-chair bays for special treatments.

It also includes a laboratory, seminar rooms and an IT suite.

It is the first purpose-built dental education centre in the UK for 30 years. The last was built in Cardiff in 1979.

About £2m of its funding has come the city's Devonport Regeneration Community Partnership (DRCP).

DRCP board member, Rev Dr David Nixon, said the company was delighted to welcome such an "exciting new venture".

He said: "This is a great opportunity to work with exceptional young students and staff who are enthusiastic to provide us with excellent dental health."

Professor Liz Kay, Dean of the Peninsula Dental School, said although most of the work would be carried out by students, patients could be assured that they would provide the highest quality service.

She said: "The role of patients in the training of our students is vital and we are very grateful to those members of the public who have made a contribution. Their input helps us to train top quality dentists of tomorrow."

The Peninsula Dental School in Plymouth opened its doors in 2006.



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