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Unit information: Health sciences: Dental Biomaterials in 2018/19

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Unit name Health sciences: Dental Biomaterials
Unit code ORDS20007
Credit points 10
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. Barbour
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Dental School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


Year 2 One element - Dental Biomaterials

Biomaterials are central to many processes in modern dentistry, and it is essential that dental students and qualified dentists have a thorough knowledge and understanding of both modern dental biomaterials, and the principles which lie behind the development and use of these and future biomaterials.


  • To produce a graduate who has the ability to select and handle biomaterials in a safe, cost effective and clinically appropriate manner.
  • To produce a graduate who can evaluate current and future biomaterials in the light of a sound knowledge of biomaterials science.
  • To produce a graduate who can obtain appropriate information about biomaterials and communicate relevant information to peers, patients and the lay public.

Intended learning outcomes

Students should be able to:

  • Discuss the mechanical, physical, chemical and biological properties of some common dental biomaterials, and relate these to the likely clinical performance of these materials
  • Describe the composition of some common dental biomaterials and the chemical reactions they undergo during clinical processes, and relate these to the clinical applications and limitations of these biomaterials
  • Describe and explain the most common reasons for failure of dental biomaterials, including adverse reactions that can occur between different materials
  • Explain the science behind the different storage, handling, working, and disposal methods for different dental biomaterials
  • Critically evaluate manufacturers’ claims for existing and new dental biomaterials.

Teaching details

  • Interactive lecture-tutorials with a combination of didactic and group/pair/individual activity with live eAssessment in a lecture theatre environment (4)
  • Integrated practical-lectures with a combination of didactic teaching and practical activities in the Clinical Skills Lab (4)

Assessment Details


  • End-of-element eAssessment examination. 60min, range of question types..


  • Weekly progress tests using question styles and subject matter similar to that used in the exam.
  • Live eAssessments during interactive lectures using Turning Point eVoting handsets.

Reading and References

van Noort R. Introduction to dental materials. 4th ed. Elsevier Mosby; 2013. ISBN 9780723436591.