Learning dentistry at UBC with new simulation laboratory with Planmeca solutions

The faculty of dentistry at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada, upgraded their dental chairs and opened a new simulation laboratory with Planmeca solutions.

The previous Planmeca manufactured dental chairs were used for almost twenty years

The faculty of dentistry at UBC hosts around 500 students across their degree and post-graduate programmes. These programmes include undergraduate programmes for the degree of doctor of dental medicine (DMD) and in dental hygiene, clinical specialty programmes and post-graduate programmes. Annually, it receives 550-650 applications for the DMD programme, among which 65 applicants are accepted. Over the next two years, the number of available seats will be raised to 70 to respond to the demand for dental education. In 2019, a DMD programme was also introduced for international students in their specialty training as well as in their PhD and master studies.

According to Dr Mary MacDougall, professor and dean of the faculty of dentistry, this is accomplished by offering the students the necessary means for the training. “We want to facilitate learning in a safe environment with state-of-the-art instruction and technologies,” she said. “We like to train competent general dentists that are also critical thinkers. This way, as new technologies and methodologies are applied to dentistry, our students will be able to assess those and incorporate them in their private practices.”

Dr MacDougall added that the same also applies to faculty members, as they and the facilities must be equipped for the ongoing technological change in dentistry to remain relevant in the future
In 2022, the UBC faculty of dentistry upgraded 144 dental care units in their Nobel Biocare Oral Health Centre (OHC) dental clinic and opened a new simulation laboratory

Dr MacDougall said that these projects were to enhance the learning environment, facilitate patient care and ensure students will continue to receive the best possible educational experience.

UBC selected Planmeca as the supplier for both of these projects as it had delivered the previous dental chairs in 2005, which had been in constant use for almost 20 years. “The durability of the products and the service by Planmeca — which we had witnessed firsthand —helped us make the decision. Given the reliability and low maintenance needs of Planmeca dental units, [it] was also competitive from the standpoint of pricing and capabilities. With regards to useability, they are quite intuitive,” she added.

Over 40,000 patients are taken care of in the OHC yearly. For UBC, it was important to find the equipment durable as resources for upgrading facilities are limited. Planmeca products are said to be easily updated and retrofitted with new features instead of replacing them, making its units a sustainable choice for dental schools.

The laboratory layout was planned with Planmeca to fit the simulation laboratory in the existing premises and to ensure simulation workflows in the facility.

In addition to upgrading the OHC with Planmeca Compact i Classic dental units, UBC opened the 123Dentist Simulation Laboratory with 73 Planmeca Compact iSim simulation units in September 2022

“We had limited space available for the simulation laboratory. Therefore, the layout design was critical to facilitate student learning and allow instructor access,” said Dr MacDougall.