$2.2 million uni dental clinic to open in Whyalla

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Wednesday, 7 September 2011

A $2.2 million University of Adelaide dental clinic to service Whyalla and its surrounding communities will be officially opened on Friday 16 September by the Member for Giles, and Speaker of the House of Assembly, the Honourable Lyn Breuer MP.

The Whyalla Oral Health Centre, part of the University's School of Dentistry, is an eight-chair clinic and teaching facility, providing senior dental students with valuable clinical experience and giving local residents access to state-of-the-art dental care.

School of Dentistry Dean Professor Johann de Vries said the centre was the first of its type in South Australia - wholly owned by the University of Adelaide but operated in conjunction with the South Australian Dental Service.

Fifth-year dentistry students spend four weeks at the clinic on a rotational basis under the supervision of a qualified dentist and senior lecturer.

As part of their general dentistry training they are also spending three days a month with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, providing dental services to remote communities in the north of the State.

"This new centre at Whyalla addresses a number of Commonwealth health priorities," says Professor de Vries.

"It provides clinical training placements, rural health services and workforce recruitment. It also exposes dental students to oral health care in remote regions with a win-win benefit for both students and outlying communities in South Australia."

The School of Dentistry at the University of Adelaide is the largest in the country and is internationally recognised for its research and teaching.

Dentistry and Oral Health students undertake clinical placements at a number of centres throughout the State, including Port Augusta, Victor Harbor and GP Plus Clinics in the Adelaide metropolitan area, as well as interstate.

"Our dental school has a history of working with the South Australian Dental Service since 1983 and in that time we have trained hundreds of dentists who are now working in Australia and around the world," Professor de Vries says.

The Federal Government recently approved funding for a second University of Adelaide $7.7 million dental clinic in the Riverland at Berri, which should be operational by 2013.

The Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Adelaide, Professor James McWha, will attend the 3.30pm opening, along with the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Justin Beilby.

The Mayor of Whyalla, Mr Jim Pollock, and senior representatives of Health SA and the SA Dental Service will also attend along with local dentists and invited representatives of the Whyalla community.


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Mr David Ellis
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