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Unit information: Skills and Clinical Practice Year 1 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 Skills and Clinical Practice Year 1
Unit code ORDS10013
Credit points 50
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Mrs. McNulty
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Dental School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


This unit is only taught on the Diploma in Dental Hygiene.


1) Patient assessment & indices

2) Periodontal instrumentation & techniques

3) Mechanical plaque control

This unit introduces and develops clinical skills and patient management and is based initially within Bristol Dental Hospital and latterly at South Bristol Community Hospital.

Clinical skills include the assessment and monitoring of periodontal disease and plaque biofilm, non-surgical periodontal therapy incorporating the use of Local Anaesthetics as required and encouraging patients towards healthy oral hygiene regimens.


  • Students will commence clinical treatment sessions based at Bristol Dental Hospital (BDH).
  • Students will carry out routine periodontal assessments, supra and sub gingival scaling procedures and oral hygiene instruction. They will be able to deliver treatment under Local Analgesia if required.
  • Students will be capable of recognising periodontal health and disease and have a good understanding of oral health education in relation to improving oral health.

Intended learning outcomes

  • Discuss the importance of each component of the patient assessment process.
  • Recognise the importance of and carry out appropriate systematic intra oral and extra oral clinical examination.
  • Monitor and record changes in in periodontal health as necessary using appropriate indices.
  • Recognise the need to monitor and review treatment outcomes.
  • Undertake prescribed non-surgical treatments to remove hard and soft deposits and stains using a range of methods.
  • Manage patient pain though the appropriate use of local analgesia – Local Infiltration and Inferior Dental Block.
  • Describe the properties of relevant drugs and therapeutic agents and discuss their application to patient management.
  • Explain the principles of preventive care.
  • Provide patients with comprehensive and accurate preventive education and instruction in a manner which encourages self-care and motivation.
  • Underpin all patient care with a preventive approach that contributes to the patient’s long-term oral health and general health.
  • Carry out care as prescribed by the dentist and plan the delivery in the most appropriate way for the patient.

Teaching details


Small group teaching

Observed clinical practice/ clinical sessions

Assessment Details


Patient Assessment & Indices

Ongoing Clinical Assessment for each individual Patient seen, graded with feedback given by clinical staff

Periodontal Instrumentation & Techniques

Reflective Practice – Each student to complete ongoing personal journal/log book/e-portfolio and opportunity to self-reflect and progress discussed with Tutors during and at the end of the Unit.

Continuous assessment on clinic using a predetermined standard assessment scheme, graded with immediate feedback to the student by clinical staff.

Students overall performance in the programme will be reviewed and discussed at the School Progress committee. Failure to comply with completion of formative assessments by the stated end of term deadlines will be raised at the Progress Committee. Any performance not completed or deemed unsatisfactory will be reviewed along with the students overall performance and may affect the student’s progression.


The unit contributes stations to a Pre-Clinical ‘Gateway to seeing Patients’ must-pass 8 station Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) in various clinical procedures in the following manner:

Patient Assessment & Indices

2 x OSCE stations

Periodontal Instrumentation & Techniques

1 OSCE station

Mechanical Plaque Control

1 OSCE station

In addition there is the following ‘must pass’ assessment within the unit:

Periodontal Instrumentation & Techniques

Clinical Competency Assessment on instrument use and knowledge (30 minutes total – Gateway to clinical practice)

Personal and Professional Development topics can be assessed within Finals examinations for the Diploma in Dental Hygiene.

Reading and References

  • Clinical Practice of the Dental Hygienist, E Wilkins ISBN:0-683-09078-X
  • Understanding Periodontal Diseases: Assessment and Diagnostic Procedures in Practice, Chapple & Gilbert; Quintessence ISBN:1-85097-053-X
  • Practical Local Anaesthesia; 2nd ed. Meechan; Quintessentials; ISBN:1-85097-204-4
  • Special Care in Dentistry; Scully, Dios & Kumar; Elsevier ISBN:0-443-07151-9
  • Local Anaesthesia in Dentistry; Baart & Brand; Wiley-Blackwell ISBN:978-1-4051-8436-6
  • Drug Dictionary for Dentistry; Meechan & Seymour; Oxford ISBN:0-19-263274-4