Preclinical Dental Practice 1

Subject DENT90059 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 6.25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

January, Parkville - 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: 67 hours (51 contact, 16 non-contact)
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: 12.5 points of human anatomy, 12.5 points of physiology and 12.5 points of biochemistry at 2nd year level.
Corequisites: None.
Recommended Background Knowledge: None.
Non Allowed Subjects: N/A.
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Assoc Prof Joseph Palamara


Melbourne Dental School

4th floor, 720 Swanston Street

Telephone: + 61 3 9341 1500


Subject Overview:

In Teaching Block 1, 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.

In Teaching 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.


On completion of this subject, the student will:

be competent to analyse:

  1. the structure of a tooth and its biomechanical function in the oral cavity;
  2. the biomechanical function of restorative materials and how these materials can replace tooth tissue;
  3. the broad groupings of dental biomaterials;
  4. the relationship of appropriate management of dental caries by either therapeutic treatment or surgical excision of diseased tissue;
  5. the appropriate range, use and selection of materials for the treatment of dental caries;
  6. why materials fail clinically;
  7. the methods used for the development, testing and evaluation of dental materials;
  8. the risks and hazards associated with the use of dental materials and the use of various forms of dental instrumentation;
  9. materials testing.

demonstrate skills in:

  1. selecting appropriate materials and making an impression of the upper and lower jaws on manikins;
  2. construction of special trays;
  3. the use of dental instruments for surgical management of dental caries;
  4. restoring teeth requiring small restorations on manikins;
  5. application of concepts of minimal intervention to clinical dental practice.
  1. 1 x 20 minute LMS MCQ exam on Dental Materials at the end of Teaching Block 1 (20%);
  2. Submission of 4 written assignments of no more than 500 words each from Dental Materials practical work on impressions and special tray throughout Block 1 (15%);
  3. Completion of Minimal Intervention and Conservative Dentistry competency tests (practical) during Block 2 (10%);
  4. 1 x 1 hour exam on Dental Materials and Conservative Dentistry at the end of Block 2 (55%).
Prescribed Texts:

Anusavice KJ 2003 Phillip's Science of Dental Materials 11th ed, Elsevier Saunders

Schwartz RS, Summit JB, Robbins JW 2003 Fundamentals of Operative Dentistry: A Contemporary Approach 3rd ed, Quintessence

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students should:

  1. be able to access new knowledge from different sources, analyse and interpret it in a critical manner;
  2. develop skills in effective communication with teaching staff and peers;
  3. develop effective organisational skills and time management;
  4. develop skills in team work;
  5. develop skills in observational and analytical techniques used in laboratories;
  6. be able to measure and record data;
  7. be able to handle and dispose of chemicals and other laboratory materials safely following proper protocol.
Related Course(s): Doctor of Dental Surgery

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