Aberdeen Dental School opening heralds new era in Scottish dentistry

Aberdeen Dental School opening heralds new era in Scottish dentistry

Public Health Minister Shona Robison today joined the first students for the historic official opening of the new Aberdeen Dental School.

The centre is set to produce 20 fully-qualified dentists every year, providing a significant increase in the numbers of trained practitioners entering the profession in Scotland.

Incentives are in place to encourage graduates to work within the NHS and it is expected many will choose to practise in the the North and North-East of Scotland, thereby improving access to NHS dentistry for thousands of people across the region.

The dental school project has been made possible by more than 21 million pounds of funding from the Scottish Government and NHS Grampian.

This year's students will begin their studies in an existing building at NHS Grampian's Foresterhill site, but work has already begun on the new Aberdeen Dental School building, due to be completed in October 2009.

The state-of-the-art complex will feature facilities for radiography, restorative dentistry, consultant orthodontics, dental laboratories, student laboratories and office accommodation.

To mark the occasion of the first round of entrants beginning their training, Ms Robison visited the dental school to celebrate with staff and students.

Ms Robison said: "The new Aberdeen Dental School will be a centre of excellence for the North of Scotland and an important asset for the whole country.

"Today's opening proves how serious we in the Scottish Government are about reversing the long-term decline in NHS dentistry in Scotland.

"Young dentists who train at the dental school will provide a significant boost to the numbers of trained practitioners in our country, helping to bring NHS dentistry within reach of more and more people.

"We want as many people as possible to have access to an NHS dentist because we know good oral health is a key component of general health and wellbeing. For that reason, we have realised this key manifesto pledge quickly.  

"In the 60th anniversary year of NHS Scotland, this is a fitting monument to our determination to ensure that everyone in Scotland has access to good quality healthcare – and this must include dentistry."

Public Health Minister Shona Robison with Professor Stephen Logan (centre) and David Cameron, Chairman of NHS GrampianProfessor Stephen Logan, Senior Vice Principal at the University of Aberdeen, said: "Together with our partners - NHS Grampian, the University of Dundee and NHS Education for Scotland - the University of Aberdeen is delighted to be delivering an entirely new model in dental education for Scotland.

"The University of Aberdeen Dental School is a tremendously important development in relation to dental education and dental service provision for Aberdeen and the North East of Scotland.

"Its creation also further confirms Aberdeen's leadership in innovative and first class training of health professionals for our communities."

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