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This subject provides the basis for the study of special needs dentistry (SND) including the link between general and oral health. Learning is achieved through a combination of journal clubs (1 hour per/week) and didactic sessions (including case report and seminar presentations) together with clinical placements. The subject focuses on etiology of disease (including oral disease), social determinants of health and functioning, treatment planning, conscious sedation, and government policy and consent. In addition students learn about management of patients under differing clinical scenarios including outpatient clinics, theatre and domicillary services. Students present cases they have treated themselves and engage in discussions with students from other cohorts who manage more complex cases in order to begin to understand the complexities of the discipline.
Seminar presentations require students to present on several aspects pertinent to the particular semester. The seminars are on a 6-semester rotation and all post graduate students across the three years take part. The themes include: ageing, public dental health, the aged care system and domiciliary care; polypharmacy, saliva, common medical conditions facing the elderly; physical and intellectual disabilities; Oral pathology, oral medicine, oral cancer; medically compromised series 1, transplants, and palliative care; and blood and bleeding disorders.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion the students will have:
- Ability to articulate knowledge and understanding in oral and written presentations
- Develop a comprehensive collection of reading materials as they pertain to the relevant seminar topics
- Develop an appreciation for the complexities of SND
- Begin to build understanding around the basis of Special Needs Dentistry including gerodontics and related medical issues with aging, disease and health, developmental disabilities, neurodegenerative disorders, management of endocrine diseases, transplant medicine and dentistry as well as palliative dental care
- Understand the complexities of managing patients with a range social and medical issues impacted by their special needs, and clearly understand the link between general health and oral health
- Develop adequate communications skills to deal with patients with cognitive impairment and have a sound knowledge of the ethical and consent issues pertaining to the patient cohort including when patients are unable to consent for themselves and the role of the Office of the Public Advocate
- Acquire the clinical skills to undertake non-surgical and basic surgical management of patients with severe periodontitis
- Develop an advanced understanding of the changing knowledge base in SND and develop an advanced understanding of the international context and sensitivities of SND
Last updated: 11 February 2021