University of Adelaide – An overview
The University of Adelaide (UAdel) is the third oldest in Australia, established in 1874. It has four main campuses located in North Terrace, Roseworthy, The Waite and Thebarton. It is consistently ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world and a member of the Group of 8 (Go8), a class of Australia’s leading universities. UAdel strives to be recognised internationally as a great research university and to be a leader in research and teaching excellence. Currently total enrolment is approximately 25 000.
The main campus, North Terrace, is located in the cultural heart of Adelaide and is the site of most teaching and research facilities. Adelaide is Australia’s fifth-largest city (population approx 1.2 million).
University of Adelaide ~ North Terrace Campus
About the School of Dentistry
The School of Dentistry at the University of Adelaide has a long and distinguished history of innovation in its teaching and research. The school itself has been running for over 90 years and its programs include the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (5 years) and the Bachelor of Oral Health (3 years) together with a range of postgraduate courses. The BDS Program at UAdel is the only professional dental program in South Australia and has full accreditation from the Australian Dental Council.
The University of Adelaide’s School of Dentistry’s mission is to have an internationally recognised impact on oral health education, research and service. It strives to enable students to become competent and caring health practitioners who will meet changing community needs. Students are involved in clinical procedures from the outset of the program, with an emphasis on the recognition and prevention of oral diseases. The School of Dentistry’s offices, laboratories and clinics are located at the North Terrace Campus.
School of Dentistry ~ University of Adelaide
The Dental Course
The curriculum is delivered within a case-based learning approach, and formal lectures are kept to a minimum. There is an emphasis on contextual learning of relevant scientific information throughout the program which occurs concurrently with the development of clinical skills. The program consists of one integrated stream, with coordination of topics within and between years. First year topics include health and disease, preventative dentistry, behavioural consequences of oral diseases, clinical examination and diagnostic procedures.
Pre-clinical training begins in the first semester of first year. This training prepares students before stepping into the clinical side of dentistry and treating patients. Students master preventative and restorative procedures as well diagnosing and providing a variety of treatment options.
Clinical training begins in third year where students start treating patients from the public. External placements will also occur throughout third to fifth year as part of clinical training. These placements aim to provide students an exposure to clinical dentistry and to gain the necessary skills and knowledge within the dental field.
School of Dentistry ~ University of Adelaide
From a patient care focus, this year introduces students to the practice of dentistry and provides a foundation for understanding the normal structure and function of a health body, including the oral cavity, evidence-based maintenance of patients’ health and dentistry as a career. By working through a series of interactive learning activities, students develop an integrated knowledge base related to evidence-based patient care and related biodental, clinical and behavioural sciences, clinical skills and professional behaviours. These integrated learning activities present various practice situations that focus on the initial phases of patient care and are supported by class meetings, laboratory, tutorial and clinical exercises.
This year builds on first year, maintaining the focus on patient care. The aim is to develop an understanding of the changes that occur in the oral cavity when an imbalance of the oral ecosystem develops. The emphasis will be to restore and maintain the balance towards health. There is a continuing emphasis on a scientific basis of dentistry by integrating knowledge of the structure and function of body with an emphasis on developing skills to examine, assess risk and systematically manage healthy patients with minor conditions.
Third and Fourth Years
Students extend their studies to include an understanding of dental disorders and the human diseases which have direct relevance to oral health and dental practice. Students’ clinical skills in comprehensive treatment planning will be developed further through the provision of supervised care for patients in both general dental practice and dental specialities. Students will have the opportunity to undertake an elective at the end of the fourth year.
This is planned as an ‘clinical placements’ year. Students will undertake a range of placements in the dental hospital and in a range of community settings, both in public and private practice. An elective placement will also be made available to provide students with an opportunity to pursue a particular aspect of dental practice in more depth.
An optional Honours year is available upon the completion of at least the first three years of the BDS. This will involve the writing of a report or thesis together with advanced course work. Students with a good academic standard may be permitted to undertake the Honours program concurrently during the BDS. Honours is usually the first step towards higher degrees and a career in research.
University of Adelaide
School of Dentistry