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Long before a dentist is confidently completing extractions or fillings in the mouth of a live patient, they have undergone years of rigorous training in dental care, which often begins in simulated dental offices.
A report in the Phoenix Business Journal describes the advanced technology that today's dental schools use to prepare students for their career.
For example, Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona offers 125 stations that simulate a real dental office, which include video monitors for watching the teacher, digital x-ray machines and design equipment.
"I don't think a new school today could be built without [simulating stations]," dean Dr Richard Simonsen told the news provider.
He added that a future goal is to introduce technology that allows dental students to experience via computer simulation what it feels like to work on real teeth. The students currently use plastic teeth for practice.
Dentists usually complete around eight years of higher education, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2006, there were 56 dental schools accredited by the American Dental Association.
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