Doctor of Dental Surgery
- CRICOS Code: 071303G
What will I study?
The DDS incorporates all aspects related to the provision of advanced general dental care to patients as well as teaches students to prepare, develop, execute and write for publication a small research project. It is a fixed, full-time course of 4 years' duration.
The course commences with the introduction of specialised oral health subjects to allow students to enter the clinic as quickly as possible to maximise the experience in all aspects and phases of clinical treatment.
In the final year, Comprehensive Dental Practice (a year-long subject of 40 weeks, comprised of general dental practice placements in urban community health centres (5 weeks), the University of Melbourne Dental Clinic (23 weeks), specialist practice/hospital clinics (5 weeks) and rural community health centres, including Aboriginal oral health (7 weeks)
The DDS incorporates all aspects related to the provision of advanced general dental care to patients as well as teaches students to prepare, develop, execute and write for publication a small research project. It is a fixed, full-tiime course of 4 years' duration.
In the first 3 years, the course is structured around 8 week teaching blocks. Teaching Blocks 1 and 2 are in the first half of the year (and include one week's vacation at Easter) and are followed by 1 week of revision and examination preparation, 2 weeks of assessment and 2 weeks of vacation/supplementary assessment. Teaching Blocks 3 and 4 are in the second half of the year with 1 week's vacation scheduled between the end of Teaching Block 3 and the commencement of Teaching Block 4. Teaching Block 4 is followed by 1 week of revision, 2 weeks of assessment then a period of vacation/supplementary assessment.
The course commences with the introduction of specialised oral health subjects to allow students to enter the clinic as quickly as possible to maximise the experience in all aspects and phases of clinical treatment.
The final year of the course is structured around 9 week teaching blocks. It is comprised of one subject in Teaching Blocks 1 and 2 and one subject in Teaching Blocks 3 and 4. Teaching Blocks 1 and 2 (which include one week's vacation at Easter) are followed by 1 week of revision and examination preparation, 1 week of assessment and 1 week of vacation/supplementary assessment. There is one week's vacation scheduled between the end of Teaching Block 3 and the commencement of Teaching Block 4. Teaching Block 4 is followed by 1 week of revision, 2 weeks of assessment then a period of vacation/supplementary assessment. In the final year subjects, students will spend 36 weeks in clinical settings including the planned University of Melbourne private dental clinic, community health centres and rural community clinics which will include provision of oral health care to the aboriginal community. In addition, students will learn how to run a private practice based on a small business model. The subjects are outlined below.
Sample course plan
View some sample course plans to help you select subjects that will meet the requirements for this degree.
400 point program
- January 43.75 pts
- June 56.25 pts
- January 37.5 pts
- June 50 pts
- Year long 12.5 pts
- January 56.25 pts
- June 43.75 pts
- Year long 100 pts
Explore this course
Explore the subjects you could choose as part of this degree.
- Oral Structure and Function 1 12.5 pts
This subject (which will be continued as "Oral Structure and Function 2" in blocks 3 and 4) facilitates learning of head and neck anatomy, the embryology and histology of the head, neck and oral structures, tooth development and morphology, oral anatomy, masticatory function including associated muscles, the nervous system, the relationship between structure and function in dentition and the origins of calcified tissue. Student learning will also include aspects of neuroscience (the structure and function of the brain, nervous system) relevant to dentistry. The subject also integrates the development of the orofacial tissues from the embryonic stages through to completion of growth.
- Preclinical Dental Practice 1 6.25 pts
In Block 1 of this subject, 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. Students will also learn the processes and materials needed for impression taking and construction of a special impression tray.
Students will also develop initial manual dexterity skills and self-evaluation skills using the Simodont Dental Trainers.
In Block 2, students 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 (Conservative Dentistry). Students will gain knowledge of dental materials commonly used for direct restorative procedures and the instrumentation utilised for surgical management of dental caries. They will also engage in pre-clinical laboratory tasks on manikins to develop skills in surgical management of dental caries.
- Intro to Professional Dental Practice 12.5 pts
This subject has the following components: Current Issues in Health Care, Population Oral Health, Law and Ethics, Communication Skills and Behavioural Science. Student learning will include patient centred oral health care practice.
- Plaque Related Diseases 1 12.5 pts
This subject will assist students develop knowledge regarding the common oral diseases that are caused by bacteria that are part of dental plaque. This is a highly integrated subject that brings together advanced concepts in chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, anatomy and clinical practice that are relevant to the understanding of oral health and disease, especially dental caries. Students will learn about tooth structure and salivary composition down to the molecular level in both health and disease. They will learn about the oral microbiome and how these bacteria are related to health and disease and be guided through the clinical steps of diagnosis of dental caries. Students will engage in problem-based learning exercises simulating clinical situations to prepare them for dental clinical practice. They will participate in computer based learning exercises that will enable them to understand the pathogenic nature of some bacteria and the host immune response to both commensural and pathogenic bacteria. In addition the mechanisms of antimicrobial and antiplaque agents will be addressed.
- Oral Structure and Function 2 12.5 pts
This subject is a continuation of Oral Structure and Function 1. It will be conducted as a preclinical subject and has the following components: radiography and radiology, growth studies, occlusion and complete dentures. Student learning in Block 3 will include: introduction to dental radiology; dental radiographic techniques and interpretation of radiographs. Human growth phases and the influence this has on the provision of dental treatment in the specialities of paediatric dentistry and orthodontics is also introduced.
The specialty of Prosthodontics will commence in Block 4 and 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. "Occlusion" of the teeth will be learnt through lectures and preclinical laboratory practical sessions to provide students with the necessary skills for application in clinical dental practice in DDS 2nd year. Students will learn the process of mounting dentate maxillary and mandibular casts on a dental articulator and will acquire skills in construction of occlusal splints. This subject will include the learning of jaw relationships, teeth and muscles of mastication and the learning of articulators which are used for construction of indirect prostheses and for analysis of diagnostic casts during treatment planning.
100% attendance at CAL and practical/laboratory sessions is expected.
- Plaque Related Diseases 2 12.5 pts
This subject will assist students in developing knowledge regarding the common oral diseases that are caused by bacteria that are part of dental plaque, especially periodontitis and dental caries. This is a highly integrated subject that brings together advanced concepts in chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, pharmacology, anatomy, behavioural science and clinical practice that are relevant to the understanding of oral health and disease. The students will learn about these diseases at the community, individual, cellular and molecular level. They will learn about the host immune response to both oral commensal and pathogenic bacteria. They will also learn about the links between oral and systemic health. Students will engage in extensive preclinical activities, problem-based and computer-based learning exercises that will enable them to make treatment decisions and prepare them for dental clinical practice.
In Block 3 students will gain knowledge of common oral preventive procedures such as manual plaque control and use of preventive agents such as toothpastes and topical fluorides. Students will gain knowledge in the interpretation of bitewing radiographs.
- Clinical Dental Practice 1 12.5 pts
Teaching Block 3 of this subject will assist students to develop knowledge of safety and infection control issues in a clinical setting. 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. Practical sessions will allow students to develop skills in working safely and following infection control procedures in a clinical environment.
Teaching Block 4 will assist students to develop knowledge and skills regarding clinical dental practice and allow students to practise and reinforce knowledge and skills obtained in Block 3. 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. 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.
- Preclinical Dental Practice 2 12.5 pts
Preclinical Dental Practice 2 is a continuation of Preclinical Dental Practice 1 and continues education into the surgical management of more extensive caries lesions and the process of restoration of lost tooth structure. The dental materials, their structure, properties and use for the restoration of lost tooth structure will also be covered. Students will learn more about correct posture in the dental operatory and working in a team (dental assistant and the operator) to prepare and restore teeth in a clinical simulation setting.
- Dental Research Project 1 6.25 pts
This subject comprises the background research and literature review of a research project. In the 2nd and 3rd years of the DDS, the continuation and completion of this project will take place under the companion subjects 'Dental Research Project 2 and 3'. At the commencement of this subject in Teaching Block 3, students will be divided into groups and a supervisor and research project will be allocated to each group. Each group will be maintained throughout second and third years. The School reserves the right to adjust the membership of a group when necessary. The research project can be undertaken in any of the following disciplines: Restorative Dentistry, Growth and Development, Oral Biology, Oral Medicine, Pathology and Surgery or Population and Oral Health Sciences or any related discipline after consultation with the Convener. In conjunction with the supervising staff member(s), each group will be required to develop the research project's aims and objectives, determine the details on facilities required and consult with the supervisor(s) at regular intervals.
- Preclinical Dental Practice 3 12.5 pts
This subject is comprised of two separate components of the oral rehabilitation of hard tissues and missing teeth.
The first component is a continuation of pre-clinical conservative dentistry commenced in Preclinical Dental Practice 2. Topics will include: restorative management of teeth having lost extensive amounts of tooth structure, including the concept of the life cycle of a restoration and longevity of restorations; methods of designing and placing complex restorations based on basic principles including design of a restoration to prevent further loss of tooth structure; the method of auxiliary retention for restorations and continuation of the use and selection of appropriate materials.
The second component of this subject covers removable prosthodontics for the replacement of missing teeth. Topics will include a brief review of the anatomical changes associated with the loss of teeth and supporting alveolar bone; the process of design and construction of removable partial prostheses to replace missing teeth. Students will also learn the process of planning treatment for patients requiring a removable prosthesis; the materials used for obtaining records of the oral cavity, the process of recording jaw relations and construction of a removable prosthesis; and the basic principles of root canal treatment of teeth and restoration of missing teeth with fixed prostheses.
- Dental Medicine and Surgery 1 12.5 pts
This subject will be conducted as a preclinical subject and builds on knowledge gained in the 1st year of the DDS. It has the following components: General Pathology for Dental Practice, Therapeutics for Dental Practice, Principles of Medicine in Dental Practice, Principles of Surgery in Dental Practice, Common Medical and Surgical conditions and their treatment and Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology. Student learning will include: the importance of pathology, medicine, therapeutic and surgical knowledge and principles and techniques in dentistry.
- Clinical Dental Practice 2 12.5 pts
This subject has the following components: Cariology, Periodontology, General Practice Clinic, Local Analgesia and Treatment Planning.
- Dental Medicine and Surgery 2 6.25 pts
This subject will be conducted as a preclinical subject and builds on knowledge gained in 1st year DDS and first semester 2nd year DDS.
This subject has the following components: Oral Medicine, Oral Surgery and Special Needs Dentistry and Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology. Student learning will include: oral pathology and the presentation of oral disease and its pathological interpretation, including histopathology; oral radiographic interpretation of pathological processes; the part of surgery that deals with the diagnosis and surgical and adjunctive treatment of diseases, injuries and defects of human jaws and associated structures; the oral health care of patients with chronic and medically related disorders of the oral and maxillofacial region and their diagnosis and nonsurgical management; the oral health care of people with an intellectual disability, medical, physical or psychiatric condition that requires special methods or techniques to prevent or treat oral health problems or where such conditions necessitate special dental treatment plans.
- Clinical Dental Practice 3 18.75 pts
This subject is a continuation of first semester subject "Clinical Dental Practice 2" and has the following components: Cariology, Periodontology, General Practice Clinic, Treatment Planning and Removable Prosthodontics.
- Child & Adolescent Oral Health 1 12.5 pts
This subject is a continuation of Growth Studies which is a component of Oral Structure and Function 2 in first year. It will be conducted as a pre-clinical subject and has 2 components: Paediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics.
In the specialty of Paediatric dentistry, student learning will include: oral diagnosis and treatment planning for children; sealants and preventive resin restorations; dental radiographic techniques pertaining to children and adolescents; restorative procedures in primary and mixed dentition; behaviour management of pre-cooperative children in a clinical setting; conscious sedation and general anaesthesia for young patients; techniques of administering local anaesthesia to young patients; fluoride therapies; cleft lip and palate; molar incisor hypomineralisation; pulpal therapy for children; oral pathology in infants and young children; gingivitis and periodontal disease in children; management of dento-alveolar trauma in children; dietary counselling for families; space maintenance; management of traumatic injuries in the primary dentition; crossbite management and infant's first dental visit.
In the speciality of orthodontics, student learning will include the following: knowledge in applying common terminology related with dento-facial growth and development; endocrinology of human growth; appreciation of qualitative and quantitative measurements of growth and development; appreciation of the relevance of growth assessment in the clinical setting; identification of how occlusion develops from the primary to permanent dentition and arch dimensional changes that occur in this time and familiarity with the use of common interceptive treatments and orthopaedics in treatment planning.
- Preclinical Dental Practice 4 12.5 pts
This subject covers the principles, techniques and materials used in the practice of the specialty areas of fixed prosthodontics and endodontics. Students will attend a series of lectures and comprehensive practical classes on each of these dental specialties. In fixed prosthodontics, students will learn preparation of teeth for crowns in manikins.
- Dental Research Project 2 12.5 pts
This subject is a continuation of the subject "Dental Research Project 1" which gave students a background in research design, ethics and statistics. Students were assigned to their groups and allocated projects and should have met and be having regular contact with their supervisor(s). A comprehensive review of the literature together with ethics submissions, where appropriate, should have been completed at the end of Block 4 in first year. In this subject, a continuation of the allocated project will take place. The School reserves the right to adjust the membership of a group when necessary.
- Child and Adolescent Oral Health 2 6.25 pts
This subject is a continuation of Child and Adolescent Oral Health 1 (Semester 2 of 2nd year). It will be conducted as a pre-clinical and clinical subject and has 2 components: Paediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics.
- Clinical Dental Practice 4 18.75 pts
This subject covers general dental practice including treatment planning and clinical practice of integrated dental care. Students will engage in clinical practice at the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne providing holistic, patient-centred oral health care, covering all aspects of oral health learnt to this point in the course. They will also have treatment planning sessions in groups, facilitated by a clinical supervisor. This subject should also be viewed as working in combination with the Specialist Clinical Practice as a means to provide total patient care.
- Specialist Dental Practice 1 12.5 pts
This subject introduces students to more complex aspects of clinical restorative dental treatment. The basic concepts and application of implant dentistry as part of a comprehensive treatment plan will be learned. Included in this subject is also the clinical application of prosthodontics, including the preparation and provision of crowns and bridges to restore and protect badly broken down and weakened teeth. The third component of this subject covers the clinical application and provision of treatment centred on the principles and techniques used to manage pulp treatment of teeth through the speciality of endodontics.
- Oral Medicine & Special Needs Dentistry 12.5 pts
This subject has the following components: Oral Medicine, Oral Surgery and Special Needs Dentistry.
- Dental Research Project 3 6.25 pts
This subject is a continuation of subject Dental Research Project 2. Students need to have completed all data collection and analysis by the end of Teaching Block 1. The completed research project is then prepared for a 15 minute oral presentation.
- Child and Adolescent Oral Health 3 6.25 pts
This subject is a continuation of Child and Adolescent Oral Health 2 and has 2 components: Paediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics.
- Clinical Dental Practice 5 12.5 pts
This subject covers general dental practice including treatment planning and clinical practice of integrated dental care encompassing complex periodontal treatment, endodontics, fixed and removable prosthodontics and management of patients having extensive and/or complex treatment needs due to medical conditions, a severely compromised dental status and/or high caries risk. This subject should also be viewed as working in combination with Specialist Dental Practice 2 as a means to provide total patient care.
- Specialist Dental Practice 2 12.5 pts
This subject introduces students to the specialty areas of dental practice related to the provision of complex dental care including fixed prosthodontics and implants, clinical prosthodontics including crowns and bridges, overdentures and clinical endodontics. Students will learn about the principles and clinical and laboratory techniques associated with these areas of clinical dental practice.
- Oral Surgery and Special Needs Dentistry 12.5 pts
This subject has the following components: Oral Surgery and Special Needs Dentistry and will be linked to material taught in Oral Medicine.
- Comprehensive Dental Practice 100 pts
This subject comprises clinical learning (general dentistry) in the Melbourne Dental Clinic (MDC), the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne, urban community health centres, specialist practice/hospital clinics and rural community health clinics. Students will engage in tasks that will demonstrate and further enhance their skills preparing them for the work environment in which they will participate and contribute to, on graduation as a dentist.
This year-long subject is developed as a capstone experience with a practice based learning approach. The learning tasks will enhance students’ capacity to apply theoretical knowledge gained in previous years of the course to “real world” situations. Students will integrate graduate capabilities with clinical skills that are required to practice as an independent health care professional. They will also develop skills in teamwork and communication with the wider health sector. The clinical practice sessions, especially at the community health centres, will allow students to reflect on emotional and practical issues of transition from the university learning environment to the world of independent clinical practice. They also provide the opportunity to link students to future employers. The intended learning outcomes are designed to engender the development of graduate attributes.