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DS1001 - Introduction to Dental Science 1

Credit points: 3
Year: 2012
Student Contribution Band: Band 3
Administered by: School of Medicine & Dentistry

This subject is only available to those students enrolled in the Bachelor of Dental Surgery.

This unit will help develop the knowledge and skills base in basic medical and dental sciences, whilst also introducing students to the scope of the knowledge, skills and attitudes required of a practising dental clinician. This subject will also help integrate information from the other Semester 1 Bachelor of Dental Surgery subjects, and help contextualise that material to clinical dental practice. Dental-specific aspects of anatomy, such as oral and craniofacial morphology, and articulations of the skull will be introduced in this subject, with a particular emphasis on the functional aspects of anatomy. This will provide a special focus which is required for dentistry and its clinical practice. The oral anatomy component will form the foundation for understanding the periodontium, dental and pulp morphology, and the fibrous attachment of teeth to the jaws. The subject will also provide information on dental development and eruption timing and sequences, and on the morphology and terminology of both the deciduous and permanent dentitions and the dental pulp. This unit will introduce the role of the dental profession in maintaining oral health, with an introduction to the basis of oral disease, including cariology, the preventative strategies that may be used to prevent disease, and some of the basic clinical interventions that are commonly used in dentistry. This unit will also serve as preparation for your initial periods of clinical placement and experience, with introductions to communication skills within the dental clinic, professional interactions with dental patients, and dental record taking. Allied to this, there will be an emphasis on professional and ethical behaviour in clinical dental practice, addressing key aspects, such as patient confidentiality. In this subject, a strong emphasis will be placed on the value of integrating and synthesising a broad range of information, and then applying that to real-life problem solving situations.

Learning Outcomes

  • illustrate an understanding of oral biology, including detailed knowledge of the form and function of teeth;
  • appreciate the properties of modern dental materials to understand the use of appropriate materials for treatment;
  • appreciate the biology of the human body as it relates to dentistry;
  • apply the concepts of embryology to the oral region;
  • demonstrate proficiency in the identification and replication of the morphology of teeth.

Graduate Qualities

  • The ability to think critically, to analyse and evaluate claims, evidence and arguments, and to reason and deploy evidence clearly and logically;
  • An understanding of the economic, legal, ethical, social and cultural issues involved in the use of information;
  • The ability to read complex and demanding texts accurately, critically and insightfully;
  • The ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences;
  • The ability to work with people of different gender, age, ethnicity, culture, religion and political persuasion;
  • The ability to select and use appropriate tools and technologies.


Cairns, Study Period 1, Internal
Census Date 22-Mar-2012
Coord/Lect: Professor Alan Nimmo.
Workload expectations:
  • 39 hours lectures
  • 26 hours tutorials
  • 26 hours practicals
  • 30 hours clinical placement
Assessment: end of semester exam (% - 60%); on line and on course assessment (% - 40%).

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.