Westmead Hospital draws largest number of dental students

Sydney Dental School dean Professor Heiko Spallek, Westmead Centre for Oral Health University General Practice department head Dr Raul Taliana, dental students Garo Mazmanian (sitting in the chair), Jacob Wedderburn-Bishop, and Rose Mary Nguyen.

The Westmead Centre for Oral Health has received the largest cohort of dental students since it was established in 1981.

The University of Sydney’s Dental School will provide the centre and other clinics across the state with 420 students over the course of the year to boost patient care and continue their training and education.

Westmead’s University General Practice department head Dr Raul Taliana said he was delighted to receive such a large number of students.

“The students will perform a full range of dental procedures for patients including check-ups, teeth cleaning, fillings, root canals, extractions, and the construction of dentures, crowns and bridges,” Dr Taliana said.

“Our dental staff are highly skilled, dedicated and driven to achieve exceptional outcomes for our patients, and provide a supportive training environment for the students.”

Dental students also work in the departments of oral and maxillofacial surgery, emergency dentistry, paediatric dentistry and special needs dentistry.

Sydney Dental School Dean Professor Heiko Spallek, Westmead Centre for Oral Health’s department head Dr Raul Taliana welcome students Garo Mazmanian (sitting in the chair) Jacob Wedderburn-Bishop and Rose Mary Nguyen.

Jacob Wedderburn-Bishop has always loved dentistry. He treats patients as a student dentist throughout the day and works as a sleep technician at night – both roles at Westmead Hospital.

“I really love talking to people and dentistry is perfect for that,” Jacob said.

 “I want people to feel relaxed when they’re sitting in the dental chair.

“So I tell them a joke when they have a piece of cotton roll and my mirror in their mouth. It makes them feel more relaxed.

“I hope to work as a general dentist at Westmead Hospital once I graduate and continue to help people in pain.”

Sydney Dental School dean Professor Heiko Spallek commended the next generation of dentists who will be offered a diversity of situations and locations.

“All the students will also have the opportunity to work rural and metropolitan areas,” Professor Spallek said.

Westmead Centre for Oral Health provides comprehensive COVID-19 screening of each patient on arrival, and additional infection control precautions to ensure their safety while receiving care.

For information about the Westmead Centre for Oral Health services, please click here.