Skip to main content

Unit information: Biomedical Sciences - Dental Therapy in 2018/19

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 Biomedical Sciences - Dental Therapy
Unit code DENT10012
Credit points 40
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Miss. Susan Vine
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Dental School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


This unit will equip the student with knowledge and understanding of aspects of the biomedical sciences relevant to dental therapy and the management of their patient. It will provide the student with an update in methods of prevention in relation to oral disease, such as tooth-brushing, plaque scoring, dietary advice, fluoride usage and smoking cessation. This unit revisits and revises aspects of biomedical science which would have been covered in the students Dental Hygiene curriculum.

The aims of the unit are:

  • to provide an introduction to the fundamentals of biomedical sciences with relevance specifically to the working practice of dental therapy.
  • to provide necessary tuition in the pre-clinical setting which will make the student ready for the practice of dental hygiene and therapy on the patient.
  • to promote an awareness in the student of the legal and ethical obligations of the practice of dental therapy.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit students will have:

  • Knowledge of the fundamentals of biomedical sciences with relevance specifically to the working practice of dental therapy, to include relevant anatomy, physiology and biochemistry.
  • An overview of dental histology relevant to Dental Therapy, including microbiology, epithelium, connective tissue, blood cells, haemostasis, bone tissue, nerve tissue, and muscle tissue.
  • An overview of oral, general and developmental anatomy and oral physiology including the heart, blood vessels, circulation, blood pressure, and the endocrine system.
  • An awareness of the legal and ethical obligations of the practice of dental therapy.
  • Received the necessary tuition in the pre-clinical setting to prepare the student for the practice of dental therapy on the patient.
  • Received the necessary tuition in the clinical setting to provide the student with the basics of clinical competence.
  • The tools to promote a positive attitude to working as a valued member of the dental team.

Teaching details

Lectures, practical demonstrations, self directed learning and small group teaching.

Visitation to the General Dental Councils headquarters in London to understand fitness to practise issues and legal and ethical aspects related to Dental Therapy.

Assessment Details


2 hour Open book essay (2000 words) on the role and responsibility of the Dental Therapist within the Dental team. Pass mark 50%. Weighting 40%

Short-Answer Paper. 1.5 hour paper containing 30 questions. This paper aims to assess ‘assumed prior learning’ in general and dental anatomy, systems of the body and dental histology and also visits topics covered to this stage of the programme. Pass mark 50%. Weighting 60%


Open book short essays (1000 words) on dental hard tissues, aspects of prevention, and dental materials Open book short essay (500 words) on Law & Ethics prior to group visit to observe the GDCs Fitness to Practise Panel

OSCE to assess recognition of dental equipment and (extracted) permanent teeth.

Continuous self-assessment via reflective journals Continuous staff assessment and feedback via reflective journals

Reading and References

Pickards Manual of Operative Dentistry – 8th Edition, Kidd/Smith, ISBN:9780198509288

Introduction to Dental Materials – 3rd Edition, Van Noort, ISBN: 9780723434047

Applied Dental Materials – 9th Edition, McCabe/Wells, ISBN: 9781405139618