Newly refurbished UCL Eastman Dental Institute opened by HRH The Princess Royal

20 May 2021

The new UCL Eastman Dental Institute (EDI), brings cutting-edge teaching facilities under one roof with clinical treatment spaces inside the UCL Rockefeller building.

Her Royal Highness (centre) inspects the EDI Rockefeller facilities with Provost Michael Spence (left)
HRH The Princess Royal (Chancellor, UCL) formally opened the UCL Eastman Dental Institute (EDI) teaching and clinical facilities, now based in the UCL Rockefeller building, on Thursday 13 May. The EDI will be home to around 350 postgraduates and 60 PhD dental students, alongside more than 120 academic, technical, and professional services staff. Additionally, the school will also be open to practising dentists who can take advantage of digital workstations for specialist training. 

The listed Rockefeller building has been sensitively adapted, incorporating the requirements of a 21st century dental school, whilst preserving the original characteristics of the 19th century building. Whilst still delivering larger individual teaching rooms that can hold up to 40 students at a time, the new location has a smaller footprint than the former site at 256 Grays Inn Road, with the additional teaching spaces meaning more places can be offered to students for the well-subscribed school. 
The Princess was given a guided tour of the site, covering the full range of state-of-the-art equipment, before officially opening the faculty with a speech and unveiling a dated plaque.

Two banks of digitally enabled clinical workbenches with phantom manikins in each bay

Better Student Experience 

Along with the inclusive redesign of the site which enables full accessibility including step free access to the 8 clinical practice rooms, the facilities integrate treatment with learning. Each treatment room benefits from a comprehensive capture system including cameras mounted to the dental chair and elsewhere within the room to facilitate the broadcast of activities as web seminars and live stream.

These spaces will enable postgraduate and CPD students to work in conditions that mimic real-life dental practice, with the installation of 90 phantom head (dental manikin) workstations allowing postgraduates to refine their skills taught by specialists of their respective fields.

The refurbishment has delivered a made-for-purpose clinical facility with multiple air changes every hour help keep a clean environment for dental work. This is a leading standard for the industry and is an additional line of protection against transmission of airborne particles including the Covid-19 virus. The facilities built during the refurbishment empower students and practising dentists to learn the latest digital workflows incorporating innovations in dentistry, including a 3D workflow suite, with 3D scanning and printing of dental aides for patients.

Acting on feedback from students and what they require from their UCL experience, refurbishing the Rockefeller has created a clear identity for the faculty, one where students have a single base for their time as undergraduates as well as a site of further learning at postgraduate level and beyond. The proximity of these facilities to the EDI Hospital and UCLH will also provide openings for future collaboration between UCL Eastman Dental Institute, Medicine, Surgery and Infection and Immunity, continuing to enhance the student’s development throughout their studies. 

Further Reading