Oral Medicine & Special Needs Dentistry

Subject DENT90081 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 112 hours (indicative)
Total Time Commitment:

160 hours (indicative): 112 contact (indicative), 60 non-contact (indicative)


Successful completion of all 2nd year DDS subjects.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

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 the Disability Liaison Unit: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Melbourne Dental School

4th floor, 720 Swanston Street

Telephone: + 61 3 9341 1500

Email: enquiries@dent.unimelb.edu.au


Subject Overview:

This subject covers clinical practice of oral medicine and special needs dentistry. Special Needs Dentistry is a speciality field of dental practice related to the provision of dental care to patients who are disabled in some way or their general health is severely compromised thus requiring modification to way care is provided or instituted.


On completion of this subject, the student will be competent to:

  • apply concepts and practice of ongoing total patient care in the prevention, identification, assessment and treatment of oral diseases in the medically compromised patient;
  • understand the fundamental role oral medicine, pathology and surgery have in the prevention or management of oral disease;
  • understand 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;
  • understand the need for referral in those situations which cannot be successfully managed in a general dental practice setting or require specialist advice or intervention;
  • recognise less commonly occurring diseases, their development and effect on a patient;
  • identify 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;
  • demonstrate sound diagnostic skills to identify the describe oral diseases and disorders;
  • describe the clinical, radiographic and histopathological features of oral pathological disorders;
  • discuss the aetiology and management of these orders including the therapeutic and surgical management as well as other treament modalities;
  • understand behavioural and management aspects of patients, including people with disabilities;
  • analyse the problems and modifications to oral care needed for patients who are homebound, hospitalised and institutionalised.
  1. 1 x 1 hour on-line MCQ test on material covered in oral surgery, end of Block 1 (20%)
  2. 1 x 15 minute case presentation of an oral medicine case, during Block 1 (20%)
  3. 1 x 15 minute case presentation on special needs during Block 2 (20%)
  4. 1 x 1 hour OSCE on oral medicine, oral surgery and special needs at the end of Block 2 (40%).

Prescribed Texts:

Cawson RA, Odell EW, Porter SR 2002 Cawson's Essentials of Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine, Elsevier Health Sciences

Haveles EB 2000 Delmar's Dental Drug Reference, Thomson Learning

Howe G Minor Oral Surgery, Butterworth-Heinemann, 3rd ed

Marx RE, Stern D Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology - A Rationale for Diagnosis and Treatment, Quintessence Publishing Co, Inc

Pedlar J. Frame JW Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: An Objective-Based Textbook, Churchill Livingstone, 2nd Rev Ed.

Peterson LJ Contemporary Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Mosby, 3rd ed

Silverman S, Eversole LR, Truelove E 2002 Essentials of Oral Medicine, BC Decker Inc, Hamilton, London

Scully C et al 2007 Special Care in Dentistry - Handbook of Oral Healthcare, Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier

Shahrokah C, Bagheri C Clinical Review of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Ability and self-confidence to comprehend complex concepts, to express them lucidly, whether orally or in writing, and to confront unfamiliar problems;
  • Ability and confidence to participate effectively in collaborative learning as a team-member, while respecting individual differences;
  • Highly-developed problem-solving abilities characterised by flexibility of approach;
  • Superior capacity to articulate knowledge and understanding in oral and written presentations.

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