Curriculum

Programme > Undergraduate

The DDS programme has 23 courses that are distributed into 2 phases.

Phase1: Fundamentals of Dentistry

Phase 1 (the first two years of study) introduces the students to basic medical and dental subjects. Students will learn about the various body systems in health and disease, with topics geared towards the requirements of a dentist in training. The first year is devoted to the study of the normal structures and functions of the body in courses such as Anatomy, Biochemistry and Physiology, whilst in the second year the students will cover the diseases and abnormalities in Pathology, Pharmacology and Microbiology. The basic dental subjects that are covered in this phase include Oral Biology, Dental Materials and Technology, Oral Health and Simulation Operative Dentistry. Students will acquire the operative practical skills through the completion of a series of simulation exercises conducted throughout the second year.

Oral Health course is introduced early in the first year to provide an early foundation on which dental students will build their professional and clinical skills as providers of oral health care. Topics such as philosophy and culture of dental profession: the history, background and scope of professional practice of dentistry, the concepts of oral and general health; and foundations of cariology, behavioural sciences and preventive dentistry will be covered. The main emphasis of this course is the preservation and promotion of oral health; and prevention of oral disease of the patient in a holistic and comprehensive manner, ultimately leading towards the attainment of successful self-care by the patient. In this course, students will receive early clinical exposure such as observation of clinical procedures, chair-side assisting as well as becoming patients themselves.

Phase 2: Clinical Dentistry

Phase 2 of the programme starts from Year 3 to Year 5 in which much of the time is devoted to step-by-step acquisition of clinical knowledge and practical skills necessary for competence in dentistry. In the first 6 weeks, students will receive an introductory module to clinical dentistry to aid them in their transition from the pre-clinical laboratory setting to the clinical environment. Once students complete the prescribed introductory exercises, they will be considered ready to begin their clinical practice. Students will be practicing fourhanded dentistry by working in pairs. A considerable amount of time will be spent in clinical contact with patients, in additional to the complementary educational activities such as didactic teaching, seminar, laboratory class work, tutorials, presentation of clinical cases and projects.

The three years clinical training emphasizes on the development of clinical and communication skills in primary oral care, history-taking and patient examination. Students are encouraged to take a holistic approach to dentistry and treatment will be undertaken on patients within the context of comprehensive patient care. Students are expected to complete a certain number of cases treated to gain the requisite clinical experiences and competencies.

The curriculum provides the opportunity for the students to consolidate clinical knowledge, skills and behaviour developed throughout this phase in Comprehensive Dental Care clinics.

At the end of the programme, the graduates must be competent to:

  1. Apply scientific knowledge to practice dentistry in a safe and efficient manner.
  2. Provide appropriate oral health care to the community within the scope of general dental practice
  3. Adopt a caring attitude and sensitivities towards patients and their families, colleagues and the whole community
  4. Apply the principles of ethical reasoning and professional responsibility as mandated by law as they pertain to patient care and practice management.
  5. Communicate effectively and possess leadership qualities to work in a multicultural society and work environment.
  6. Work within the dental team and with other relevant agencies in health promotion and disease prevention.
  7. Use critical thinking and problem solving skills related to comprehensive care of patients.
  8. Use information technology resources in contemporary dental practice.
  9. Adapt lifelong learning approach and self–assessment in maintaining dental competency.
  10. Apply basic principles of practice management and use interpreneurial skill in providing oral health care services.