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DS1101 - Dental Science 1

Credit points: 9
Year: 2023
Student Contribution Band: Band 3
Subject chain: DS1101 DS1102
Administered by: College of Medicine & Dentistry

This subject will introduce students to the range of knowledge, skills and attitudes required of a practicing dental clinician, as well as laying the foundations for ethical practice and life-long learning. This subject will provide an introduction to the medical, chemical and physical sciences that underpin modern clinical dentistry. Students will be introduced to the chemical and cellular basis of life, and the factors that influence both oral and systemic health and disease. These topics will be delivered using a series of integrated modules. As a first step in developing clinical skills, students will be introduced to the simulated dental clinic and dental equipment. Safe working practices in the dental clinic, infection control, ergonomics and occupational health will be examined. Students will also undertake basic exercises in the simulation clinic in order to help develop their fine motor skills. This subject is only available to students enrolled in the BDS program.

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain the structure, organisation and function of the body from the molecular to the organ level;
  • Discuss the applicability of chemical principles and reactions in a scientific and medical context;
  • Discuss the structure and function of the oral cavity, including the dentitions, hard and soft tissues, as well as the microbial basis for oral disease;
  • Explain the structure and function, including musculoskeletal function, of the human body as it relates to dentistry;
  • Explain the strategies for providing preventive care, including patient counselling;
  • Explain the importance of teamwork, ethical practice, confidentiality and communication principles in relation to other members of the dental team, patients and the general population.

Subject Assessment

  • Written > Examination (centrally administered) - (55%) - Individual
  • Performance/Practice/Product > Multi-station assessment task (MSAT) - (20%) - Individual
  • On-course including quizzes, oral and poster presentations - (25%) - Group & Individual.

Special Assessment Requirements

Satisfactory attendance is required at (pre)clinical placements. Satisfactory academic and professional standard, as described in the College Assessment Guidelines, must be achieved in order to progress

DS1001 BM1071 CH1010 DS1002 BM1072 CH1013


As this subject is part of a subject chain, a final standard grade (e.g. P, C) will only be recorded for each subject after successful completion of all parts of the subject chain.

Cairns, Study Period 1, Internal
Census Date 23-Mar-2023
Coordinator: Dr Ernie Jennings, Dr Kate Miller
Lecturers: Dr Kornelija Sfera, Miss Sharron Long, Dr Ernie Jennings, Dr Kate Miller, Dr Mark Payne, Mr Jamie Mars, Ms Doris Pierce, Dr Amar Sholapurkar, Dr Alex Dancyger, Mrs Gloria Silcock, Mr Daniel Browne, Dr Manjunath Rajashekhar, Professor Peter Thomson, Dr Harini Mani.
Workload expectations:

The student workload for this 9 credit point subject is approximately 390 hours.

  • 78 hours lectures - Weekly Introductory and Summary lectures
  • 25 hours tutorials - Home Group Tutorials (13) Small Group Synthesising Sessions (12)
  • 12 hours seminars - Integrative Sessions
  • 135 hours specialised - Guided learning sessions and practicals: 3 x 3 hours week. Simulation Clinic: 1 x 3 hours per fortnight.
  • assessment and self-directed study

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.