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Unit information: Primary Care Dentistry Year 4 in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Primary Care Dentistry Year 4
Unit code ORDS30004
Credit points 50
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Mrs. John
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Dental School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This unit takes place in Year 4 of the BDS programme and aims to develop student skills in clinical dentistry. The Unit aims to expand and build on the student’s experience gained in Year 3 in the management of patients within a range of clinical settings and to include more complex management.

The unit is comprised of four elements of:

  • Restorative Dentistry Year 4
  • Basic Oral Surgery Year 4
  • Child Dental Health Year 4
  • Community Based Dental Teaching Year 4

The majority of the learning within the Unit occurs during supervised treatment sessions where the student communicates with and carries out prescribed treatment for patients under staff supervision.

Aims (at the level of a confident learner):

  • To enable the student to learn from and apply knowledge from an evidence-based understanding of oral and dental health and disease and to develop diagnostic and decision making skills in treatment planning.
  • To expand student insight into integration of dental care into the wider health care setting.
  • To enable the student to identify and fulfil the role and responsibilities of the dental surgeon and the clinical assistant and to participate as a member of the wider dental team
  • To enable the student to bring together knowledge and skills from subjects within the teaching specialties of primary dental care to ensure comprehensive patient care.

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of Year 4 a successful student should obtain knowledge and understanding in the following areas of primary dental care:

In all disciplines

  1. Record a contemporaneous, clear and concise patient history and examination and formulate a differential diagnosis and treatment / management plan (1.2.1 and 1.2.2, 5.3). Confidently undertake the roles of operator and assistant at the dental chairside (8.1,8.2) (1.1.8, 1.8.1, 1.8.2). Recognise the importance of respecting and protecting patient confidentiality (6.2,6.3,6.4)
  2. Apply knowledge of medical conditions that may impinge on dental treatment
  3. Prescribe accurately to other health care professionals and critically assess the quality of lab work

In Restorative Dentistry

  1. Maintain an adult dentition whilst evaluating health risks (1.10.7).
  2. Assess and manage pain of dental origin (1.7.5, 1.9.1) and instigate preventive and interventive regimes to control periodontal disease, dental caries, and diseases of the dentino-pulp complex to ensure a functioning and aesthetic dentition ( 1.1.3, 1.10.2, 1.10.3, 1.10.4, 1.10.5)
  3. Manage diseases with minimal intervention in a risk free environment (1.8.1, 1.8.2)
  4. Clinically apply knowledge of dental materials and therapeutic agents administered to patients requiring prevention and restorative clinical intervention (1.1.9, 1.1.10).
  5. Assess and treat chronic periodontal disease and treat aggressive periodontal disease non-surgically with or without therapeutic adjuncts (1.11.1, 1.11.2, 1.11.3, 1.11.4, 1.11.5, 1.11.6)
  6. Recognise features of the edentulous and partially edentulous mouth relevant to the provision of removable and fixed prostheses and understand the complexities that loss of function or anatomic form contribute to restoration (1.14.11)
  7. Request work from and work alongside dental laboratory services (4.4, 5.2, 8.2)

In Oral Surgery

  1. Summarise and apply the standard management of medical emergencies that can occur in dental practice (1.8.6)
  2. Describe the anatomy of the head and neck in relation to anaesthesia for dental treatment (1.1.6) and explain the pharmacological effects of local anaesthesia (1.1.9).
  3. Demonstrate safe administration of local anaesthesia for dental treatment in both the maxilla and mandible (1.7.8)
  4. Name commonly used instruments and identify appropriate usage for dental extractions and straightforward surgical removal of teeth (1.12.7).
  5. Undertake extraction of permanent teeth and assist with surgical removal (1.12.7).

In Child Dental Health

  1. Define normal childhood development and behaviour patterns (1.1.13; ) and describe and utilise dental health promotion teaching materials (1.10.4). Deliver preventive advice and restorative care for children with straight forward needs, but with possible mild management issues (social, emotional or intellectual) (1.10.2; 1.10.5).
  2. Understand treatment of children with injuries to the dental and/or supporting tissues (1.9.3, 1.9.4).

In Community Based Teaching 2

  1. Evaluate factors contributing to general & oral health & assist in behaviour change (1.10.7).
  2. Provide patients with comprehensive and accurate preventive education and instruction in a manner which encourages self care and motivation (1.10.2)
  3. Underpin all patient care with a preventive approach that contributes to the patient’s long term oral and general health (1.10.4)
  4. (All numbers in brackets relate to the mapping of this Unit’s outcomes to the GDC Learning Outcomes document.).

Teaching Information

Lectures, seminar and small group teaching, self directed learning. Chairside teaching during supervised direct patient care.

Assessment Information


Continuous assessment on clinic using a predetermined standard assessment scheme with immediate feedback to the student. Each student to complete a logbook/portfolio during the course with opportunity to reflect on progress during and at the end of the Unit. Student’s overall performance will be monitored and discussed at the School Progress committee.


  1. OSCE mapped to Unit learning outcomes. (50% of Unit total).
  2. E-assessment exam, using multi format e-format questioning. Knowledge assessment mapped to Unit learning outcomes. (50% of Unit total).

Reading and References

  1. Banerjee A, Watson TF. Pickard’s Manual of Operative Dentistry 9th ed. Oxford University Press; 2011. ISBN:9780199579150.
  2. Lindhe J, Lang NP, Karring T, editors. Clinical periodontology and implant dentistry 5th ed. Wiley Blackwell 2008. ISBN:9781405160995.
  3. Jepson NJA. Removable partial dentures. Quintessentials of dental practice. 18. Prosthodontics. Quintessence; 2005. ISBN:9781850970750
  4. Allen PF, McCarthy S. Complete dentures from planning to problem solving . 2nd ed. Quintessentials of dental practice.12. Prosthodontics. Quintessence; 2012. ISBN:97818509972273.
  5. Chong BS. Harty's endodontics in clinical practice. 6th ed. Edinburgh : Churchill Livingstone;2010. ISBN:9780702031564.
  6. Shillingburg HT jr Sather DA, Wilson EL, Mitchell DL, Blanco LJ, Kessler JC. 4th ed. Fundamentals of fixed prosthodontics. Quintessence; 2012. ISBN:9780867154757.
  7. Whaites E, Drage N. Essentials of Dental Radiography and Radiology. 5th ed. Churchill Livingstone; 2013. ISBN:9780702045998.
  8. Pedlar J, Frame JW. Oral and maxillofacial surgery :an objective-based textbook. Edinburgh : Churchill Livingstone; 2001. ISBN:9780443060175.
  9. Essentials of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Edited by Pogrel MA, Kahnberg K-E and Andersson L. Wiley Blackwell 2014. ISBN:978-1-4051-7623-1 (pbk.)
  10. Principles of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Sixth Edition. Edited by Moore U. Wiley Blackwell 2011. ISBN:978-1-4051-998-8
  11. Welbury R, Duggal MS, Hosey MT, editors. Paediatric dentistry 4th ed. Oxford : Oxford University Press; 2012. ISBN:9780199574919.
  12. Cameron AC, Widmer RP, editors. A handbook of pediatric dentistry 4th ed. Edinburgh: Elsevier Mosby; 2013. ISBN:9780723436959.
  13. Andreasen JO, Andreasen FM, Andersson L, editors. Textbook and color atlas of traumatic injuries to the teeth. 4th ed. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell;; 2007. ISBN:9781405129541.