BALLARAT Health Services’ new 20-chair dental clinic has opened.
Built with $8.4 million of federal government funding, the clinic is located at Phoenix P-12 Community College in Hertford Street, Sebastopol, and will replace the Base Hospital site.
BHS dental manager Jacqui Nolan said 10 of the 20 chairs would be allocated for Latrobe University years four and five student train-
ing, with two other dental chairs still located at Yuille Park.
“With more chairs, more services are available. More up-to-date equipment means appointments are quicker and we can see more people in a day,” Ms Nolan said.
The site also includes a laboratory for making prosthetics such as false teeth, plus X-ray and sterilisation facilities.
Ms Nolan said the training facility would focus on “real-life experience”, with more clinical teachers and dental assistants on hand to help.
The students will treat patients for free and will see most cases apart from very serious dental issues.
“The quality will still be of a high standard. Where the average dentist sees 12 to 14 patients a day, the students will see four to six,” Ms Nolan said.
She said the student training program would also help reduce any future dental waiting lists.
“It’s a good thing for Ballarat. We have a lot to offer here and we have a lot of good dentists operating privately in town.
“We wanted to be a part of training the future generation of dentists.”
Ms Nolan said the Phoenix College location was chosen for economic reasons.
“We wanted to spend most of the money on the facility, not the site, and we already had a dental van here.”
She said the site was also easily accessible, was on the ground floor, and had public transport to the front door.
Other features include specialised tracking for wheelchair and disability access to the dental chairs and X-ray screens in front of patients.