Chapel Hill, N.C. — When people sit down for a dental exam in North Carolina, odds are the dentist was trained at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry. It was established in 1954.
With the school set to complete a $118 million expansion project in March, UNC will have the ability to serve more students and, in turn, more people in North Carolina.
Since 80 percent of UNC dental students go on to practice in North Carolina, officials say the benefits will go far beyond the new additions to the campus.
Dr. Jane Weintraub, the dean of the UNC School of Dentistry, said the expansion project will make use of the latest technology to help students learn.
"Dental students today have different learning styles than students in the past. So, our new building is going to take advantage of the new technology that's now available."
The new learning space will also have a simulation lab for students, Weintraub said.
Ben Cozart, a second-year dental student, said the need to keep up with the latest dental technology is a must. Cozart also said that simple additions, like new study rooms or lecture halls, will make the experience at UNC's dental school even better.
"We're here a lot from 8 to 5, and then we're taking lectures and seeing patients in clinic," he said. "So, to have a nice new space to study in afterwards is a huge bonus."
The added space will also allow UNC to admit more dental students, associate dean Dr. Janet Guthmiller said.
UNC will be able to one day accept up to 100 students a year, up from the current cap of 81.
The cost of the expansion was paid for by $112 million in state funds and $6 million in UNC money.