SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — For dentistry student Stephanie Kroll, University of the Pacific’s new $151 million Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco is where she plans cap off her school career.
“It’s beautiful … so much brighter than our old building … it will really prepare anyone to go into any practice anywhere, Kroll said.
That preparation for students will take place in a state-of-the-art dental simulation lab. Filling out the dental chairs is a long line of German-engineered manikins.
“The only thing that’s different is they don’t have a pulse,” Dr. Jessie Vallee told KPIX.
From cleanings to pediatric dentistry, Dr. Vallee teaches students to treat the manikins like real patients. Soon, they will become even more lifelike.
“We’ve left room for these manikins to be mechanized in the future so eye, tongue movement, saliva is possible in the next phase,” Dr. Vallee explained.
Dr. Mark Booth points out that all these fake patients serve a very human purpose.
“Most people have a pretty high level anxiety when they come to the dentist so anything we can do to embrace that and calm everyone down helps them along.”
Ten thousand patients every year — many unable to afford dental insurance — rely on UOP’s students and professors for their dental care. Patients will now have easy check-in at an electronic kiosk at the new school with TV screens that make the exam feel like being in your own living room.
The new facility is located at 155 Fifth Street in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood.