In Oulu, Finland, dental students train for their future profession using, among other things, Planmeca's state-of-the-art dental units and new CAD/CAM teaching solutions. This helps the students adopt the very latest technologies and ergonomic working methods right from the beginning of their studies.
An ultra-modern hub for dental care and education
Inaugurated on 23 September 2017, Dentopolis is a Finnish dental care, research and education facility jointly administered by the City of Oulu, University of Oulu and Oulu University of Applied Sciences.
Now, the education and research facilities of the University of Oulu’s Unit of Oral Health Sciences, the Central Dental Care Clinic of the City of Oulu and the dental hygienist training of the Oulu University of Applied Sciences can all be found under one roof.
Dentopolis serves some 50,000 Oulu residents each year. Basic dental care and emergency services are located on the first floor, orthodontists and other dental specialists have their offices on the second floor, and a teaching dental clinic is housed on the top floor. The teaching clinic is where the students perform their patient training.
The building also has lecture halls, study rooms and state-of-the-art phantom and simulation laboratory teaching facilities, where students can practice procedures in a realistic environment.
Planmeca’s simulation solutions used for a natural transition to clinical practice
The teaching facilities at Dentopolis are equipped with 59 Planmeca simulation units, which are similar to the dental units used in the teaching dental clinic. This makes it possible for students to work in a lifelike environment right from the start. The transition from preclinical to clinical work does not seem like such a big leap when working with familiar equipment.
By practising on a real dental unit, students also develop proper working ergonomics straight away, which is essential to preventing neck and shoulder disorders later in their careers. The teaching facilities are equipped with large screens, which are used to display teaching situations. Students can also follow instructions on workstation displays.
In addition to a phantom hall, Dentopolis has a state-of-the-art, eight-place simulation laboratory exclusively developed by Planmeca for the University of Oulu. In this simulation laboratory, students practise, among other things, the use of instruments with the help of haptic feedback.
Planmeca CAD/CAM solutions used as a teaching tool
In the phantom hall, each workstation has a connection for the Planmeca PlanScan® intraoral scanner. The scanner is used particularly in prosthetics courses. The Planmeca Romexis® Compare evaluation tool is used to compare the work done by students with that done by the teacher – the software allows similarities in the work to be compared in percentage terms.
The teaching dental clinic uses the Planmeca FIT® CAD/CAM system, in which teachers and students are provided continuous training. Students practise, for example, crown work, inlays/onlays and bridges. They also finish the work themselves and learn how to choose the right materials for each patient.
Experiences with Planmeca's CAD/CAM solutions have been positive. Students have adopted the system enthusiastically and have even begun using it in patient work.
State-of-the-art dental equipment and centralised solutions enhance efficiency
In addition to the university's simulation units, Planmeca supplied the City of Oulu with 48 digital Planmeca Compact™ i Touch dental units, some of which are in use at the teaching dental clinic and other in the Central Dental Care Clinic. Another 14 of the same dental units were delivered to the Oulu University of Applied Sciences for their dental hygienist training.
All of the Planmeca dental units previously in use by the City of Oulu will be updated in the near future. The updatability of Planmeca's dental units makes it possible for new features to be added to older models.
Dentopolis's teaching dental clinic is the first teaching clinic in the world to take into use the new Planmeca PlanID™ sign-in system, which allows dental unit users to access their personal settings with a simple flash of a card. The system enhances operational efficiency particularly in clinics with a large number of different users.
Planmeca's centralised water treatment system, which ensures that the water used in the dental units is always pure, is also in use. The system is entirely chemical-free. Dentopolis has also installed a centralised suction tube cleaning system, jointly developed by Planmeca and Dürr.
"On the whole, Dentopolis is one of the world's finest dental training facilities, both inside and out. It has been a privilege to work with them, and we look forward to continuing our work on future projects," says Plandent Sales Manager Markku Nappari.
"As an equipment supplier, Planmeca has been a very straightforward and honest partner, staying true to agreed timetables and keeping its delivery promises," adds Professor Pertti Pirttiniemi from Dentopolis.
Photo: In attendance at the inauguration: Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu and Chairman of the Board of the Oulu City Board Kyösti Oikarinen, Finland’s Prime Minister Juha Sipilä; Mayor of the City of Oulu Päivi Laajala; Planmeca Group President and founder Heikki Kyöstilä, Rector of the Oulu University of Applied Sciences Jouko Paaso; and retired Mayor of the City of Oulu Matti Pennanen. (Photo: Kulmakuvaamo / Seija Leskelä)
Text by Hanna Korlin and Aleksandra Nyholm
Photos by Markku Nappari and Kulmakuvaamo/Seija Leskelä