New School of Dental Science and Dublin Dental Hospital Opens

Posted on: 19 September 1998

The Taoiseach officially opened the newly rebuilt Dublin Dental Hospital at a special reception on the 19th September 1998. The reception was the last in a series of events that took place in the Dublin Dental Hospital to mark the opening of the new state-of-the-art facility in Dublin city centre.

The new Hospital is home to the Trinity College School of Dental Science and includes the fully refurbished original building, dating back to the 1890’s, and a brand new adjoining building in the Trinity College campus. The total financial investment was £13m, most of which was funded by the Department of Health and Children, with approximately £1.1m donated from Trinity College.

Each year, graduates from the School of Dental Science include 40 dentists, 40 dental nurses, 8 dental hygienists and 6 dental technicians. In 1997 more than 600 students applied for the dentistry undergraduate course, the points for which ran to 540. The School also runs a number of postgraduate programmes for dentists, dental nurses and hygienists. As a result of the new facilities, the number of specialist training and continuing education courses will increase.

One of the most interesting new teaching resources installed in the new facility is the virtual reality dental training laboratory. This allows students to prepare virtual cavities and crown preparations on mannequins, while their procedures are demonstrated and evaluated on graphic monitors. This technology is also used to allow those who have been out of dentistry for a number of years – or those who simply want to evaluate the quality of their dental surgery procedures – to use the computerised model for self training. Only three other dental schools in the world have so far implemented this technology.

The most significant addition to the hospital is the addition of two large clinics where more than 100 patients can be treated simultaneously. Each clinical compartment contains the latest technology and is linked up to the internet. The clinical compartments also double as study areas with interactive learning facilities when not in use for patient treatment. It is expected that approximately 100,000 patient treatments will be carried out in Dublin Dental Hospital in 1998 – an increase of 10% over 1997 figures. There were 11,325 emergency treatments carried out in 1997. This figure is expected to double in 1998. In addition, the new hospital contains day bed facilities and two fully equipped operating theatres.