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DS2001 - Biological Sciences for Dentistry 1 (Growth, Development and Microbiology)

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

In this unit students will be introduced to the biological sciences that affect normal growth, development and function of the oral cavity, together with some of the endogenous and exogenous factors that can affect oral health. This subject will lay the foundations for later studies of orthodontics by introducing craniofacial growth and development. Students will develop an understanding of how growth and development occurs in the orofacial region. In addition the many types of malocclusions, their developmental considerations and how these affect diagnosis and treatment of children will be a focus. The unit will also cover the timing, sequence, and mechanisms of tooth formation and eruption in the context of how dental changes relate to jaw development patterns. This will serve as a foundation for developing good diagnostic, treatment planning and treatment skills in dentistry. This unit will also focus on the biochemistry and cell biology underlying normal bone, tooth and soft tissue development. A special focus will be the nutritional requirements for the healthy development of dental and periodontal tissues, and will reinforce the links between nutrition and health which were established in Year 1. This subject will also introduce the genetic determinants of normal development and health, as well as the genetic bases of disease. Students will be introduced to genetic disorders and genetic risk factors for oral disease, including system genetic disorders that impact on oral health. This subject will also focus on the role of infection in oral disease, including the development of dental caries and periodontal disease. It will examine topics in bacteriology, virology, mycology and immunology pertinent to dentistry. A special aspect of this unit is to link the basics of microbiology to disinfection and sterilization procedures in the dental clinic. This subject will also discuss the chemotherapy of microbial diseases, as well as pathogenicity and immune responses.

Learning Outcomes

  • demonstrate knowledge of biomedical sciences which form the basis for understanding human growth, development and health;
  • understand the differences between normal and abnormal biology (and psychology) and their implications for function;
  • demonstrate knowledge of the primary infection control principles as they apply to dental practice;
  • use scientific method to identify the organisims responsible for diseases relevant to dental care;
  • understand the role of micro-organisms in dental caries and periodontal disease and the disease processes associated with each condition.

Graduate Qualities

  • The ability to find and access information using appropriate media and technologies;
  • The ability to evaluate that information;
  • The ability to select and organise information and to communicate it accurately, cogently, coherently, creatively and ethically;
  • The ability to reflect on and evaluate learning, and to learn independently in a self directed manner;
  • The ability to read complex and demanding texts accurately, critically and insightfully;
  • The ability to speak and write clearly, coherently and creatively;
  • The ability to generate, calculate, interpret and communicate numerical information in ways appropriate to a given discipline or discourse;
  • The ability to lead, manage and contribute effectively to teams.
Prerequisites: DS1001 DS1002 BM1071 BM1072
Corequisites: DS2003


Cairns, Study Period 1, Internal
Census Date 22-Mar-2012
Coordinator: Professor Alan Nimmo
Workload expectations:
  • 39 hours lectures
  • 13 hours tutorials
  • 39 hours practicals
Assessment: end of semester exam (60%); quizzes or tests (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.