What is Dental Science?
Dental Science is the study of the oral cavity and the diseases associated with oral tissues. This five-year programme is designed to ensure that graduates can safely and effectively deliver the full range of primary dental care, including prevention, diagnosis and treatment of oral and dental diseases.
Dental Science: The course for you?
If you have an ability to build caring and professional relationships with patients, co-workers and the wider community and if oral healthcare and its impact on individuals interests you, then Dental Science is right for you. You should also enjoy undertaking physically and mentally demanding clinical practice, which requires considerable attention to detail with small margins for error. The course is long (five years) and intense, requiring stamina and commitment.
Dental Science at Trinity
This course is based in the Dublin Dental University Hospital situated on the Trinity campus. Clinical facilities are of a very high standard, emphasising the use of information technology. Class sizes are small, to ensure that students receive considerable staff input into their progress throughout the programme. Much of the teaching is delivered through Problem-Based Learning and there is lots of hands-on clinical experience treating patients. Students are introduced to clinical practice in first year as observers and they commence treating their own patients (under supervision) in the second year. By the fifth year students are expected to have completed a wide range of treatments similar to those provided in general dental practice. Graduates of the Trinity School of Dental Science and Dublin Dental University Hospital are highly sought after due to the extensive clinical exposure obtained during the programme.
Graduate skills and career opportunities
Graduates of the Dental Science programme in Trinity are widely recognised for their clinical experience and are highly sought after. There is a wide range of career options open to newly qualified dentists, from general dental practice providing both state-funded or private dental care, or in the salaried public dental service. Many graduates choose to continue their education, specialising in one area within dentistry. Dentistry gives scope to work and travel worldwide. Citizens of the EU who graduate from an EU dental school may practice anywhere in the EU and there is currently demand for dentists all over Europe.
Your degree and professional practice (B.A., B.Dent.Sc)
The Bachelor of Dental Science (B.Dent.Sc) conferred by Trinity entitles EU citizens to register as a dentist on the Register of the Dental Council of Ireland and they may also register with the regulatory bodies of other countries in the EU. Graduates wishing to practice in countries outside the EU may be required to pass specified examinations. However, there is a mutual recognition agreement between Ireland and Canada whereby Irish dental graduates may practice dentistry in Canada without the necessity to complete additional study.
Your degree and what you’ll study
The curriculum is largely delivered in a problem-based learning format, which aims to provide you with the skills to continuously evaluate and update your knowledge and clinical practice throughout your professional career. PBL encourages students to engage in self-directed learning and aims to provide graduates with the skills necessary for life-long learning, which is a requirement for all health care professionals. Lectures, demonstrations, simulations, audio-visual and e-learning opportunities are also provided. From second year onwards, you will provide patient care in the clinic under the strict supervision of qualified dental staff.
First year modules
Personal and Professional Development, Human Biology I, Physical Science. During the second semester, you will begin observing on the clinic.
Second year modules
Basic Dental Care, Human Biology II, Oral Biology and Introduction to Pathology, Public Dental Health.
In second year, you will develop particular communication skills, learning how to interpret and explain clinical signs and symptoms of systemic and oral disease with particular reference to dental practice, and begin to practice the clinical skills necessary for the treatment of patients. Clinical training begins half way through second year with students learning the vital basic skills of history taking, examination and diagnosis and will start providing very simple treatments for patients.
Third year modules
Clinical Medical Sciences, Fixed and Removable Prosthodontics, Comprehensive Patient Care I.
Fourth year modules
Comprehensive Patient Care II; Advanced Restorative Dentistry I, Child Dental Health; Oral Medicine, Oral Surgery and Oral Pathology I; Public Dental Health.
Fifth year modules
Comprehensive Patient Care III, Advanced Restorative Dentistry II, Public and Child Dental Health, Oral Medicine, Oral Surgery and Oral Pathology II, Evidence-Based Dentistry.
During years 3 to 5, you will be encouraged to undertake the management of oral health and disease in your own patients is based on the best available scientific evidence. In tandem with this, you will also need an awareness of general healthcare issues for individuals and communities. In these three years, you will provide more complex patient care.
In keeping with the PBL-style curriculum, a wide variety of assessment methods are used in all years. There are end-of-term integrated written assessments, practical tests, skills tests of competence, clinical examinations, written reports and oral/verbal presentations. The written assessments include short essays, short answer and multiple choice type questions.
Students in fourth year may participate in English-speaking Erasmus exchange programmes with dental schools in Norway, Sweden or the UK. Between the fourth and fifth year, some students undertake voluntary placements in a wide variety of international locations.