The course

Students in the Bachelor of Oral Health have a combined vocational outcome of professional registration as dental hygienists and dental therapists.  Graduates find excellent employment prospects in private practice, public hospitals and health services.  There are also career opportunities in research, education and public health.

Your first year will introduce you to background scientific and clinical knowledge required to become a health practitioner including using research and developing interpersonal skills and respect for the psychosocial, social and cultural differences of individuals. You will also be introduced to the clinical working environment where you will undertake both clinical and didactic learning throughout the duration of the course. Simulated clinical  learning develops the principles and techniques of preventive and conservative dentistry to prevent disease and restore tooth function   Students commence working with patients, examining their mouths and identifying oral conditions,and learn to manage infection control and common medical emergencies that may be encountered in the dental environment.

First year students are required to purchase dental instruments and equipment early in the first week of the course. The kit costs approximately $4,000 and will provide the required dental instruments and preclinical models for the 1st and 2nd years of the BOH program.  Students are also required to purchase a clinical jacket at the same time.

Your second year will become more hands on as you will have developed significant core competencies within your first year that will allow you to undertake examinations, diagnose, plan and provide treatment to patients with the support of experienced oral health practitioners, demonstrate effective patient management and evaluate various techniques associated with the prevention and conservative management of common oral diseases. You will also develop knowledge and practice skills in health promotion for both individuals and communities and continue to learn how to apply scientific knowledge to the practice of oral health therapy for particular high needs populations.

Your final year will be your most independent study year, as you will be required to undertake independent research and clinical practice. This year will allow you to refine and develop your professional skills for the autonomous provision of dental care as an oral health therapist in a range of settings. Work ready skill development occurs, such as time management, quality assurance and control, self- assessment, and the application of a philosophy of total oral health care including the interaction of oral health therapy care with general dental and specialist care.

Clinical placement rotations will be undertaken in a range of metropolitan and rural clinics providing a rich preparation for professional practice.

In addition you will participate in oral health therapy research extending your skills and knowledge in one aspect of practice through project work.   Previous students have undertaken field placements in health promotion, research or clinical environments such as Aboriginal Health Services,  Hospital Specialist Units, Community Outreach programs such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service or Youth Programs and with the Oral Health Services in the Northern Territory or international exchange in Sweden or Denmark.