A state-of-the-art dental simulation suite has opened at St George’s Hospital.

The £350,000 facility will be used to train year one (foundation dentists), year 2-4 (dental core trainees), specialists and consultants undergoing further training and general dental practitioners.

The training suite includes 15 tutor/student work stations along with accompanying ‘phantom head’ simulators linked to video enabled surgical operating microscopes. There is also touch screen technology and internet cameras offering live link teaching with the maxillofacial unit.

The dental team will be able to cut, shave, fill and drill a variety of plastic teeth set in the phantom heads’ jaws as well as undertake surgical procedures on the work surfaces.

The suite will also accommodate pigs’ heads surgical courses, simulated model implant placement and oral surgical skills, such as bone plating.

The space is also equipped to allow practical courses in root canal therapy, periodontics (gums), paediatric dentistry, orthodontics and prosthodontics.

Peter Briggs, foundation training programme director for south London and a consultant in restorative dentistry, said: “This is a step forward for the hospital which now offers some of the most modern dental training facilities in the capital. The suite offers a safe learning environment where dentists can learn new techniques, fine-tune their skills and bench mark themselves against others”.

“We know that the UK undergraduate dental curriculum is full. This means that there are gaps to be filled during early foundation and core training years. It is within simulation laboratories like ours that this development can take place in combination with clinical exposure.”

“Clinical dentistry is difficult at the best of times and patient expectation has never been higher. UK dentists are now more at risk from litigation than most countries in the world and we need our dentists to be the best they can be.”

The successful bid to the London Strategic Health Authority reflects the hospital’s strong dental reputation and track record of postgraduate teaching.

Notes to editors

For more information, please contact the Communications Unit on 020 8725 5151 or email communications@stgeorges.nhs.uk. Outside working hours, please page us by calling 0844 822 2888, leaving a short message and contact details for pager SG548.

About St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust

  • St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest healthcare providers in the UK. Its main site, St George’s Hospital in Tooting – one of the country’s principal teaching hospitals – is shared with St George’s, University of London, which trains medical students and carries out advanced medical research. As well as acute hospital services, the trust provides a wide variety of specialist and community hospital based care and a full range of community services to children, adults, older people and people with learning disabilities. These services are provided from Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton, 11 health centres and clinics, schools and nurseries, patients’ homes and Wandsworth Prison.
  • St George’s Hospital, Tooting, is home to one of four major trauma centres, one of eight hyper acute stroke units and one of the biggest and busiest of the seven heart attack centres in the capital.
  • The trust is an accredited centre of excellence for trauma, neurology, cardiology, cancer and blood pressure services and is the national centre for family HIV care and bone marrow transplantation for non-cancer diseases.
  • In 2012 the trust was named by the Dr Foster report for the Department of Health in the group of trusts with the lowest mortality rates in the country. The trust was one of only 16 in the country to have statistically significant lower than expected mortality rates.