Doctor of Clinical Dentistry

    • CRICOS Code: 076196K

    Where will this take me?


    Intended learning outcomes

    • Specialist knowledge of the moral and ethical responsibilities involved in the provision of care to individual patients, populations and communities
    • Advanced knowledge of the basic biological, medical, technical and clinical sciences in order to recognise the difference between normal and pathological conditions relevant to specialist clinical dental practice
    • Ability to evaluate and synthesize research and professional literature
    • Ability to design, conduct and report original research
    • Capacity to manage competing demands on time, including self-directed project work
    Application of knowledge and skills
    • Engage with new and emerging fields of study
    • Superior capacity to articulate knowledge and understanding in oral and written presentations
    • Profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of scholarship
    • Capacity to value and participate in projects which require team-work

    Generic skills

    • Work effectively as a member of a team
    • Have skills in interpersonal understanding, problem-solving, decision making, program design and implementation, evaluation and advocacy
    • Demonstrate capacity and motivation for continuing independent learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life
    • Demonstrate professional skills and attitudes
    • Design and conduct scientific investigations
    • Exhibit professional responsibility
    • Critically appraise research evidence
    • Demonstrate the ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner
    • Apply effective, creative and innovation solutions, both independently and co-operatively, to current and future problems
    • Be proficient in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies
    • Have an awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities
    • Value diversity of opinion within health care
    • Value diversity in health beliefs, lifestyles, ethnic and cultural background
    • Demonstrate a non-judgemental approach to their interactions within the health system, with other health professionals
    • Ensure safe and effective care for people of diverse backgrounds

    Graduate attributes

    The competencies and qualities of the new DCD graduate have been grouped in the six domains of professionalism, scientific knowledge, patient care, dental profession, systems of health care,and the society. The different dimensions of patient-centred care are incorporated into these attributes in addition to those outlined by the Dental Board of Australia for each speciality.

    The goal of the dental specialist is to improve the oral health of their patients and the community through appropriate preventive and oral health care, including behavioural and educational components. This is often done in conjunction with the patients’ general dentist. A dental specialist has a knowledge, experience and clinical skill set that is at a higher level than that of the non-specialist. The specialist is often required to lead the team in the management of their patients’ oral health as it relates to their specialty area and integrates knowledge and experience with clinical competency to form a framework of comprehensive oral health care. Specialists, like general dentists, have a responsibility to advocate for the oral health of the population.


    On graduation DCD graduates will have developed:

    • The ability to apply reflective practice skills and a recognition of their importance in health care
    • A recognition of their own personal, spiritual, cultural or religious beliefs, and an awareness that these beliefs must not prevent the provision of adequate and appropriate care to the patient
    • The ability to apply strategies of stress management to oneself, to patients and to the dental team as appropriate
    • A thorough understanding of the ethical principles and legal responsibilities involved in the provision of dental care to individual patients
    • Skills to use contemporary information technology for documentation, including patient records, communication, management of information and applications related to health care
    • Empathy, compassion, honesty, integrity, resilience and lifelong curiosity, as well as the ability to demonstrate these and a recognition of their importance in health care
    • A critically reflective approach to practise dentistry based on current evidence and experience
    • Self-awareness, the ability to recognise when clinical problems exceed their knowledge and skill, and a willingness to collaborate and to refer
    • The ability to negotiate, give and receive appraisal and criticism constructively
    • The ability to manage uncertainty
    • The ability to identify, quantify and address their own learning needs
    • The ability to apply effective time management and organisational skills
    • The ability to maintain their own physical, emotional, social and spiritual health, and a recognition of the importance of professional support in this process
    Scientific Knowledge:

    On graduation DCD graduates will have developed an advanced level of:

    • Knowledge of the biological, medical, technical and clinical sciences in order to recognise the difference between normal and pathological conditions relevant to specialist clinical dental practice
    • The ability to access new knowledge from available sources, to analyse and interpret it in a critical manner, and to apply it appropriately in the provision of oral health care
    • Skills required to contribute towards new knowledge
    • Ability to evaluate the validity of claims related to the risk-benefit ratio of products and techniques
    • Knowledge of the moral and ethical responsibilities involved in the provision of care to individual patients, to populations and communities
    • An understanding of the basic principles of practice administration, financial and personnel management relevant to a dental practice
    • Skills to analyse oral health as it relates to symptoms, signs and pathology
    • Skills required to prevent, diagnose and treat anomalies and illnesses of the teeth, mouth, jaws and associated structures
    • Knowledge of the management and interaction (pharmacological, physical, nutritional, behavioural and psychological) of important oral and medically-related conditions
    • Skills to provide treatment options based on the best available information and experience
    • An understanding of pharmacology and therapeutics relevant to clinical dental practice and be familiar with pharmacology in general medicine
    • Scientific principles of sterilisation, disinfection and antisepsis and infection control
    • Knowledge of the hazards of ionising radiation and the effects on biological tissues, together with the regulations relating to use, including radiation protection and dose reduction
    • Knowledge of research methodology and its applications
    Patient care:

    On graduation, DCD graduates will have developed a level of clinical ability at an advanced level so that they have:

    • The ability to communicate with patients from diverse backgrounds, including the ability to listen to, respond to, and provide appropriate information to patients
    • Skills to alleviate pain and provide appropriate treatment outcomes
    • Respect for patients' values and their expressed needs
    • The ability to identify patient expectations, desires and attitudes during treatment planning and provision of specialist treatment
    • Skills to manage the potential impact of chronic illness and disability on the patient's oral health
    • Appropriate skills to obtain a thorough dental, medical and social history and perform an accurate oral examination
    • The ability to integrate and interpret clinical findings and apply rigorous reasoning to arrive at an appropriate diagnosis or differential diagnosis
    • The ability to formulate an evidence-based comprehensive treatment plan in collaboration with the patient, taking into consideration the best outcome for the patient
    • The ability to perform appropriate dental procedures effectively and safely, with due regard for the patient's comfort including during emergency procedures
    • The ability to predict, prevent and inform patient behaviour with respect to their oral health and provide patients with strategies to control behaviour affecting the maintenance of oral and general health
    Dental profession:

    On graduation, DCD graduates will have developed:

    • An understanding of the continuum of general and specialist dental education and the various roles, expertise and interaction of different dental and oral health practitioners
    • The ability to apply the principles of ethics in the provision of health care and research
    • The ability to be an active participant and leader in professional organisations, and an appreciation of the benefits of this participation
    • The ability to provide effective peer review in order to assist colleagues to improve their clinical knowledge and patient care
    • Maturity and responsibility to maintain standards of specialist dental practice at the highest level throughout their professional career
    • Ability to understand and apply Commonwealth, State and Territory legislation relevant to practise as a dentist
    • The philosophy of lifelong learning and accept that continuing professional development is required for professional growth and improved health care provision
    Systems of health care:

    On graduation, DCD graduates will have developed:

    • Knowledge of the roles, responsibilities and expertise of all health professionals, and how they work in teams to deliver health care
    • A respect for the roles and expertise of other health care professionals and the ability to communicate and collaborate effectively with them
    • Skills of team work and the ability to work effectively in an oral health care team, including the leader
    • Knowledge of the principles of efficient and equitable allocation and use of finite resources, especially in the public oral health care systems
    • The ability to work effectively as a dental specialist within a quality and safety framework including the ability to recognise, respond to and learn from adverse events
    The society

    On graduation, DCD graduates will have developed:

    • The ability to contribute to their communities wherever they choose to live and work
    • A commitment to contribute to the resolution of oral health inequities
    • Knowledge of the relationship between environmental issues and the oral health and general health of local communities and society
    • Knowledge of the determinants of a 'healthy society' and the economic, political, psychological, social and cultural factors that contribute to the development and persistence of oral health and illness
    • Competency in oral health promotion including primary and secondary prevention
    • An understanding of the principles of oral health literacy and a willingness and ability to contribute to the oral health education of the community
    • Knowledge of the ongoing oral health disparities of indigenous Australians including their history and cultural development
    • Knowledge of the burden of oral disease in different populations and geographic locations in Australia
    • Skills to identify the requirements of health care systems in a culturally diverse society
    • The ability to deliberate on local, regional and national ramifications of health care issues
    • The ability to respect community values, including an appreciation of a diversity of backgrounds and cultural values