As well as theoretical training, dentists and specialists must master a wide range of practical skills. There is a growing need for dental training facilities and well-equipped practice areas in the Brussels region. By offering the UDC’s renovated phantom lab as a study space for postgraduate training in dentistry, VUB is responding to these needs.
"The phantom lab has had a thorough overhaul. We have invested in 18 new practice units," says Dirk Devroey, VUB professor and dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy. "The treatment units, kitted out with dental equipment, allow trainees to put their theoretical knowledge into practice. We let them practise in a safe and organised environment, so they can hone their practical skills. There are also many experienced dentists and specialists working in the UDC. This wealth of knowledge, combined with the new phantom lab, means we are helping to train the dentists of the future."
"Thanks to the renovation of the phantom lab, we can again offer post-academic training at the VUB Health Campus in Jette," says Inge Cornillie, general manager of the UDC. "We look forward to exciting collaborations on such courses with academic and professional partners."
What do the UDC’s specialists think?
"What makes us unique is that we have a university training centre that can be used by private organisations," says Mathieu Van Dael, head of Endodontics at the UDC. "Other universities don’t have space for this, because their labs are used by students. Moreover, you rarely come across such an extensive space, with an auditorium and 18 seats. That’s the maximum. As a lecturer, it’s difficult to give practical lessons to more people. Its central location is another strong point. It’s close to the ring road and is easily accessible from Leuven, Antwerp, Ghent and even Wallonia."
Before and afterThe centre’s old phantom lab had to be renovated to meet the needs of a contemporary postgraduate dental training facility. Sustainable choices needed to be made to make the investment feasible.
"Due to the energy crisis and the fact that VUB itself does not offer a dental course, we were limited in terms of financial resources. Every choice had to be deliberate, sustainable and budget-friendly. We gutted the old laboratory and removed treatment units and furniture because they needed to be replaced," says Cornillie. "We installed completely new ceilings with LED lighting, new flooring and utilities. We did painting work, and we invested in 18 new dental treatment units. To reduce costs, we recycled the old model heads and the desk at the front of the room. Soon, we will also have a new smart screen and camera, allowing a lecturer to stream live when they’re carrying out certain treatments. That will also allow us to provide online courses in future."
The concept for the new phantom lab was approved in May 2022. The work began in February 2023 and took three months.
Vrije Universiteit Brussel is an internationally oriented university in Brussels, the heart of Europe. By providing excellent research and education on a human scale, VUB wants to make an active and committed contribution to a better society.
The World Needs YouThe Vrije Universiteit Brussel assumes its scientific and social responsibility with love and decisiveness. That’s why VUB launched the platform De Wereld Heeft Je Nodig - The World Needs You, which brings together ideas, actions and projects based on six Ps. The first P stands for People , because that’s what it’s all about: giving people equal opportunities, prosperity, welfare, respect. Peace is about fighting injustice, big and small, in the world. Prosperity combats poverty and inequality. Planet stands for actions on biodiversity, climate, air quality, animal rights... With Partnership , VUB is looking for joint actions to make the world a better place. The sixth and last P is for Poincaré , the French philosopher Henri Poincaré, from whom VUB derives its motto that thinking should submit to nothing except the facts themselves. VUB is an ’urban engaged university’, strongly anchored in Brussels and Europe and working according to the principles of free research.