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This is a broad introductory subject to dentistry which aims to provide students with the background, knowledge and general skills required to commence clinical patient care. The subject will consist of the following components: current issues in health care; population oral health; law and ethics; behavioural science; communication skills; dental materials; radiography and radiology; introduction to history, examination, diagnosis and treatment planning; restorative dentistry; infection control and safety in clinical settings; and removable prosthodontics.
Students will be introduced to the basic concepts of biomaterials and biomechanics related to dentistry, the broad groupings of materials applied to clinical practice and methods used for testing materials. They will also be introduced to dental radiology; dental radiographic techniques and interpretation of radiographs.
Student learning will include patient centred oral health care practice. They will be introduced to the concept and evidence of minimal intervention dentistry and how it relates to non-surgical management and surgical treatment of dental caries and restoration of teeth. Students will gain knowledge of dental materials commonly used for direct restorative procedures.
Students will develop knowledge and skills regarding clinical dental practice. The clinical procedures of history taking, clinical examination, diagnosis and provision of simple treatment plans will be introduced and students will gain knowledge of dental record keeping requirements. Students will gain knowledge of their responsibilities under the law to provide a safe environment for their patients, staff and themselves together with knowledge of the current published standards of practice. Students will also gain knowledge of infection control strategies, practice protocols and documentation required to provide a safe clinical environment. Clinical sessions will allow students to practise and reinforce the skills in safe work practices and infection control procedures while practising the clinical skills of history taking, clinical examination, plaque index, prophylaxis and application of topical fluoride. During these clinical sessions, students will develop skills in ergonomic work practices in a clinical environment.
Students will cover the changes of orofacial structures that occur after tooth loss and how these affect oral health and function. Students will also learn the construction of complete dentures through a series of interactive lectures, videos and laboratory practical sessions. Students will learn the processes and materials needed for impression taking and construction of a special impression tray, mounting dentate maxillary and mandibular casts on dental articulators which are used for construction of indirect prostheses and for analysis of diagnostic casts during treatment planning, and will acquire skills in construction of occlusal splints.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject, the student should be able to
- discuss the range of oral health care needs of individuals and groups within the community and the diversity of the methods needed to provide them;
- comprehend the range of patients' socioeconomic and demographic backgrounds, together with variations in community health;
- analyse the importance of inter-professional team relationships in the provision of oral health care and be able to relate to the "patient centred" health care model;
- comprehend the dynamics of the patient/health professional relationship and the implications of behaviour in the delivery of dental care;
- identify the common clinical activities undertaken by oral health care providers and the risks and hazards to the oral health care worker;
- comprehend the biological, behavioural and ethical principles during the delivery of clinical dental services;
- demonstrate skills required for communication, counselling and patient management;
- apply epidemiological principles to solve dental public health problems;
- analyse the broad groupings of dental biomaterials;
- analyse the biomechanical function of restorative materials and how these materials can replace tooth tissue;
- analyse the methods used for the development, testing and evaluation of dental materials;
- analyse the risks and hazards associated with the use of dental materials and the use of various forms of dental instrumentation;
- analyse the appropriate range, use and selection of materials for the treatment of initial/early dental caries;
- analyse the appropriate management of initial/early dental caries by either therapeutic treatment or surgical excision of diseased tissue;
- link progression of dental caries and comprehend the decision process of when it is necessary to surgically treat caries lesions and restore teeth;
- evaluate and critically appraise clinical research evidence as it relates to longevity of dental restorations;
- comprehend the importance of research outcomes and evidence to the decision making process for the correct restoration of teeth.
- discuss the properties and uses of dental materials for conservation and restoration of carious and non-carious lesions;
- demonstrate skills selecting appropriate materials and making impressions (maxillary and mandibular) on manikins and construction of special trays;
- demonstrate skills application of concepts of minimal intervention to clinical dental practice.
- understand the principles of x-ray production and their application to radiation safety
- accurately produce radiographs and other non-invasively produced images of the jaws, facial skeleton and temporo-mandibular joint, on manikins;
- interpret and critique radiographic images of the jaws, facial skeleton and temporo-mandibular joint;
- analyse implications of tooth loss;
- comprehend appraisal of the patient requiring removable complete dentures;
- discuss and review clinical and laboratory steps involved in construction of complete dentures;
- develop laboratory technical skills in construction of complete dentures;
- comprehend their legal and ethical responsibilities as dental practitioners to provide a safe environment for their patients and members of the dental team;
- comprehend the principles of infection control and standard and transmission-based precautions;
- comprehend the processes of accurate history taking, clinical examination, diagnosis, treatment planning and record-keeping in the provision of patient care;
- analyse the processes of oral diagnosis and treatment planning;
- demonstrate skills in working safely and applying infection control procedures in a clinical environment;
- demonstrate knowledge of protocols to be followed in the event of an injury to the patient or staff member during a clinical procedure;
- Demonstrate skills in history taking and record-keeping in the provision of patient care;
- demonstrate skills in time management and ergonomic work practices in the clinical environment.
- Be able to access new knowledge from different sources, analyse and interpret it in a critical manner;
- Develop skills in effective communication with teaching staff and peers;
- Develop effective organisational skills and time management;
- Develop skills in team work and develop skills of workplace safety;
- Be able to identify and address their own learning needs;
- Develop skills in observational and analytical techniques used in laboratories;
- Be able to measure and record data;
- Be able to handle and dispose of chemicals and other laboratory materials safely following proper protocol;
- Develop skills in professional communication.
Last updated: 12 November 2022