Stornoway’s new dental centre has been officially opened by the isles’ health boards’
new chairman Dr Neil Galbraith.
The flagship £4.7 million building is one of the most modern in Scotland. It came
in under budget and four months ahead of schedule.
It was built to tackle the huge waiting list crisis experienced by islanders in the
past to get registered with a dentist.
Located adjacent to Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway, it took Laing O’Rourke construction
workers just nine months to complete and is the health boards most significant healthcare
development of the past decade.
Islanders can get a tour of the premises at an open day on Saturday.
Consisting of 12 purpose built surgeries, five of which are specially adapted for
training, the two storey development provides spacious and modern facilities.
The main reception point is on the ground floor beside working surgeries while training
facilities are upstairs.
The training centre will be used by NHS Education for Scotland in association with
Scottish universities and colleges.
One special feature of the state-of-the-art technology is computer generated dental
patients, designed by Glasgow School of Art, who respond in “agony” when jabbed in
The virtual reality dental training centre gives students plenty of practice to drill
teeth on simulated patients before let loose on real people.
The 3-D technology mimics patients in the dentist chair getting their teeth drilled,
cavities filled and tooth decay probed and feeds back sensations experienced when
It’s hoped that dental students from across Scotland would stay on as qualified professionals
after training in the Hebrides.
NHS Western Isles chief executive Gordon Jamieson says the centre exceeds expectations,
and contributes to the Board’s ambition to be a world leader in the application of
He said: “Western Isles Dental Centre compares very favourably with modern dental
facilities elsewhere in Scotland in terms of modern technology.”
HS Western Isles Chairman Dr Neil Galbraith said: “The Board is delighted with the
new Dental Centre which provides the islands of Lewis and Harris with modern dental
facilities capable of improving the dental health of the local population, through
the delivery of first class dental care and treatment.
“The project was completed well ahead of time and within budget; a credit to all
of those involved.
Malcolm Wright, Chief Executive of NHS Education for Scotland, said: "This is a world
class centre and NHS Education for Scotland looks forward to helping to deliver quality
education for a healthier Western Isles."
He added: “With students both treating patients and living in the community, we hope
that some will decide to work in the Western Isles after graduating.”
He said: “Our involvement in Stornoway emphasises our commitment to multi-disciplinary
training and education in areas outside the central belt.
“The therapy school development is especially exciting as the school is run by the
University of the Highlands and Islands with other therapy school campuses at Inverness