Dental Practice 5

Subject 511-522 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 100.00
Level: 5 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Year Long, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Year long clinical experience within and without the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne
Total Time Commitment: Not available

Successful completion of Year 4 subject.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Andrew Smith
Subject Overview:

This subject, which covers the entire fifth year curriculum, encompasses a wide variety of clinical teaching, in rural and urban locations. During the year, students treat patients in general practice clinics and rotate through specialist teaching. Students are not expected to perform treatment during specialist practice.

General Practice Rotation: All aspects of dentistry for adults including Operative Dentistry, Fixed and Removable Prosthodontics, Endodontics, Periodontics, Preventive Dentistry and Oral Surgery and Medicine; clinical treatment as needed by patients, with the emphasis on whole patient treatment' and continuing care on a rotational basis at the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne (RDHM) clinics and community clinics. Referral of patients to oral health students.

Specialist Practice Rotation: Specialist clinics at the RDHM, seminars and postgraduate student clinical sessions in the areas of Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Prosthodontics, Endodontics, Periodontics, Special Needs Dentistry, Radiology and Paediatric Dentistry. An Orthodontic course associated with Paediatric Dentistry follows treatment in progress. Attendance at: external clinics for experience not available at the RDHM, such as complex radiology; Oral Surgery departments for consulting clinics and operating theatre experience; and emergency departments and medical teams for experience of seriously ill patients.

Academic Teaching/Study Module: Lectures, workshops and other teaching in areas such as Treatment Planning, Dental Ethics and Jurisprudence.

Advanced Dental Study 2: Continuation of the background research and literature review of a research project (commenced in Semester 2 of fourth year) and an oral presentation of that project in Semester 2.

Elective Study: There is time available during the year for students to undertake elective studies which can include interstate and/or overseas visits.


On completion of this subject, the dental student should:

(1) Comprehend:
a) the nature, pathogenesis and management of diseases and disorders affecting oral tissues, including the oral manifestations of systemic diseases, oro-facial pain, periodontal diseases, malocclusion and dental caries;
b) the behavioural and management aspects of patients including people with disabilities,
c) complicated psychological or social histories, problems of anxiety, pain control or physical
handicaps, and of the homebound, hospitalised and institutionalised;
d) the effect of sedative and anaesthetic drugs on the normal physiology of a patient and the
management of patients in theatre and recovery room;
e) the central role of detailed diagnosis and treatment planning in the successful management of
individual patients;
f) the importance of a preventive and minimal intervention approach to the treatment of
routine dental disorders;
g) the role of a professional in contemporary Australian society;
h) the relevance of basic sciences to the care of patients and the necessity for continued
research and education to improve all aspects of dental care;
i) the philosophy of total oral health care for each patient and the interactions of general dental
practice with speciality care in the overall treatment plan for the individual;
j) the biological, behavioural and ethical principles of clinical dental services and their
application to total oral health care for each patient;
k) the diversity of:
• settings in which general dental practice may be delivered;
• clinical techniques and dental materials available to meet each individual's specific oral health needs; and
• the limitations of particular treatment modalities.

(2) Have developed:
a) Skills in:
• assessing the dental health needs of individuals presenting from a wide variety of socio-cultural backgrounds with a wide range of oral conditions
• assessing the appropriateness for referral and/or additional consultation
• the examination, diagnosis, radiography, radiology, treatment planning and management of an individual seeking routine dental health care;
• evaluating success and failure in clinical dentistry;
• working as part of a comprehensive health team;
b) Ability to:
• synthesise information collected and plan appropriate treatment and management of a dental patient;
• communicate with patients about their oral health status, treatment options and potential outcomes and to establish and maintain appropriate oral health regimens;
• communicate about clinical cases with other health providers;
• work within a dental team; and
• assess and manage a patient who has collapsed
c) Sufficient technical skill to provide a comprehensive range of clinical dental services.
d) A commitment to ethical practices, quality assurance in dentistry, and life-long continuing
e) Competency and expertise in providing general dental care to an individual;

(3) Appreciate:
a) the diversity of people within the community and the responsibilities and problems in delivering dental care to them;
b) the necessity for accurate examination, diagnosis and treatment planning before commencing the care of all patients whether or not they have advanced or complicated problems;
c) the value of ensuring the maintenance of oral health after treatment of all patients including those with advanced or complicated problems;
d) the life-long necessity for continuing education and quality assurance in dental care;
e) the role and responsibilities of the general dental practitioner in the provision of comprehensive total patient care;
f) the need for referral in those situations which cannot be successfully managed in general dental practice or require specialist advice or intervention;
g) issues of safety in general dental practice; and
h) the need for constant evaluation of techniques, peer review of processes, and the application of scientific rigour and principles to the resolution of clinical problems.


(1) One 25-minute viva voce examination on integrated treatment planning. Particular emphasis will be placed on the ability of the student to formulate an appropriate treatment plan after analysis of clinical data of a patient (not present). The student will be presented with a patient's clinical records (eg. histories, dental charts, radiographs, photographs, study casts, etc.) one hour before the viva voce examination of 25 minutes. The student will make a written treatment plan to be taken into the oral examination and may also prepare personal notes. (2) One 30-minute case presentation with the patient present and complete records. The student may choose any patient they have treated except the periodontal patent presented in 4th year. (3) One 2-hour integrated multiple station Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) presented in an electronic format and based on clinical scenarios with appropriate photographs and radiographs. (4) An oral presentation of the research project (during Semester 2) and a written report of no more than 3000 words at the end of Semester 2 and an oral presentation on the Shepparton rotation. A pass in each section of the assessment is required to pass Dental Practice 5 overall. If a student does not perform satisfactorily in one section, he/she may have to submit to further assessment in a form to be determined by the relevant subject examiner/s.

Although there are no numerical quotas for any particular clinical treatments, students should endeavour to obtain exposure to as wide a range as possible of all forms of dental treatment. Students should note carefully that their lack of experience in any clinical area will not be acceptable as an excuse or reason for unsatisfactory progress in Dental Practice 5.

All students are required to complete a log and attendance book of clinical procedures in order to sit the final examinations. Students should also note that it will be necessary to have completed a wide range of treatment procedures to be permitted to sit the final examinations. This will be determined by completion of the clinical log forms.

Prescribed Texts:

There are no prescribed texts for fifth year; however, students will be referred to current journal papers relevant to the lectures/seminars provided.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Problem solving and decision making skills;
  • Communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Experience in program design and implementation;
  • Evaluation and advocacy;
  • Planning and time management skills;
  • Capacity and motivation for continuing independent learning;
  • Appreciation of, and sensitivity to, cultural diversity;
  • Leadership skills; and
  • Respect for intellectual integrity and scientific truth
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Dental Science

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