Construction of Postle Hall will be completed in the summer of 2020 and it will allow the College of Dentistry to increase the number of dental students admitted each year. Credit: Mackenzie Shanklin | Lantern Reporter

Beginning this summer, College of Dentistry students will have a new place to call home after four years of development.

The $95-million project, which was approved by the Board of Trustees in 2016, will add 130,000 square feet to Postle Hall, increasing the number of college admissions by 10 percent, Dan Hedman, university spokesperson, said in an email.

Ohio State is the only state dental school in Ohio, educating 63 percent of the state’s dentists, Patrick Lloyd, dean of the College of Dentistry, said.

The construction will provide the college with amenities such as eight small-group practice clinics and four new surgery units, Hedman said. 

The practice clinics will provide an area for dental and dental hygiene students to collaborate on patient care and treatment planning under the guidance of faculty dentists while also providing dental services for patients, a spokesperson from the College of Dentistry said in an email.  

The ambulatory surgery center will house four surgery units and four recovery rooms where patients undergo surgical procedures from Ohio State dentistry faculty in the practice and residents, the spokesperson said. 

Ohio State will be the first dental school in the United States to have operating rooms that provide general anesthesia for patients, Lloyd said.

“With the construction of an updated facility, we will be able to exploit new technologies and proven operational systems to enhance efficiencies in patient care and student education,” Lloyd said in the building announcement.

Additionally, there will be an expanded radiology clinic for oral imaging, a dental faculty practice, a central equipment sterilization facility and a two-story atrium to help foster a place for students, faculty and staff to come together, Hedman said. 

Mary Lally, a fourth-year in dental hygiene, said the new facilities will improve the programs.

“With having the new technology in there, I think that everyone, all the students, will be able to learn and apply new skills,” Lally said.

Lloyd said the expansion will also offer more space for different types of simulated experiences for students.

“These are laboratories where students work in an environment — it’s very much like the practice environment with this chair, the light, the drills, the water spray, the air spray and all the positions — is very much like treating a person,” Lloyd said.

Dental students use the simulation labs for procedural situations, and dental hygiene students use the simulated experience for cleaning teeth, Lally said. 

The new space will better facilitate collaborations between dental students and dental hygiene students to best prepare them for higher education or for the transition into a practice, Lloyd said. 

“The dental hygiene and dental students work together, caring for patients and treating them together as a team and learning about each other’s scope of practice, and how to best benefit from the different skills they have,” Lloyd said.