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Unit information: Skills and Clinical Practice Year 2 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 2
Unit code ORDS20018
Credit points 60
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Mrs. McNulty
Open unit status Not open

Skills and Clinical Practice Year 1



School/department Bristol Dental School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


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

Year 2


  1. Management of Complex Medical Needs
  2. Instrumentation/ Clinical Techniques & Clinical Practice
  3. Radiology
  4. Complementary & Alternative Medicine

Throughout this unit existing clinical skills are developed and new clinical techniques are introduced. This comprises preventive techniques, impression taking, temporary restorations, air polishing and radiology.

During this unit, an 8 week ‘rotation’ period begins which includes observation/ clinical practice in a variety of clinics and departments to expand clinical knowledge and experience.


Students should be conversant with the practice of preventive care, including oral health prevention and promotion. They should recognise the increasing evidence based approach to treatment and appreciate the need to collaborate in prevention, treatment and management of disease with other healthcare professionals and the patients themselves.

They will hone and develop their clinical skills in preparation to work as qualified clinicians, fit to practice independently.

Intended learning outcomes

  • The student will recognise and take account of the needs of different patient groups including children, adults, older people, and those with special care requirements throughout the patient care process
  • Explain general and systemic disease and their relevance to oral health
  • Explain the scientific principles of medical ionizing radiation and statutory regulations
  • Contribute to relevant special investigations and diagnostic procedures, including radiography
  • Discuss the role of the dental hygienist and other members of the dental team in the patient management process
  • Underpin all patient care with a preventive approach that contributes to the patient’s long-term oral health and general health
  • Advise on and apply a range of preventive materials and treatments.
  • Describe the health risks of drugs and substance misuse on oral and general health and provide appropriate advice, referral and support
  • Recognise and appropriately manage the complications associated with periodontal therapy
  • The registrant will be able to apply to the practice of dental hygiene principles that derive from the biomedical, behavioural and materials sciences
  • Describe the scientific principles underpinning the use of materials and biomaterials and discuss their limitations and selection, with emphasis on those used in dentistry
  • Place temporary dressings and re-cement crowns with a temporary cement
  • Undertake prescribed non-surgical treatments to remove hard and soft deposits and stains using a range of methods.
  • 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.
  • Be competent at interpreting complex treatment plans incorporation periodontal therapy.

Teaching details


Small group teaching

Clinical practice

Clinical sessions


Assessment Details


Management of complex Medical Needs

Continuous assessment (CA) 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 students progression. Students overall performance in the programme will be reviewed and discussed at the School Progress committee.

Complementary & Alternative Medicine

CA - Students may be asked to discuss potential alternative methods if patients enquire about alternative therapies available.


Instrumentation & Clinical Techniques & Clinical Practice

Each student completes a logbook/portfolio during the programme with opportunity to reflect on progress during and at the end of the Unit. This portfolio of year 2 clinical work is correlated into total marks and is weighted as 35% of Final Diploma mark.


E-Assessment (IRMER schedule 2 exam). Radiology is a gateway – sign up for Final Exam requirement & completion of practical log book/ portfolio for clinical radiographs taken. The pass mark for the E assessment is 50% together with successful completion of clinical competences.

Reading and References

  • Clinical Practice of the Dental Hygienist, E Wilkins ISBN:0-683-09078-X
  • Special Care in Dentistry; Scully, Dios & Kumar; Elsevier ISBN:0-443-07151-9
  • Drug Dictionary for Dentistry; Meechan & Seymour; Oxford ISBN:0-19-263274-4
  • Essentials of Dental Radiography and Radiology, Eric Waites