University of Sydney Handbooks - 2018 Archive

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Population Oral Health


(Students apply through School of Public Health, Sydney Medical School)

Candidates wishing to pursue a program in Population Oral Health begin by completing the Master of Public Health (MPH) or the Master of International Public Health (MIPH) degree through the School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine (see

Students must include in their degree the three dental elective units of study listed. Upon successful completion of the MPH or MIPH, students may then be able to proceed to study a research degree that will fulfil the requirement of specialisation by the Australian Dental Board.

Further information

For further information about this program see the Faculty of Dentistry website at:

Information about this program can also be found in Sydney Medical School handbook.

Table of units of study: Population Oral Health

Unit of study Credit points A: Assumed knowledge P: Prerequisites C: Corequisites N: Prohibition Session
Preventative Dentistry
6    P PUBH5018, PUBH5010
Semester 2
Dental Health Services
6    P PUBH5018, PUBH5010
Semester 2
Population Oral Health
6    P PUBH5010 or CEPI5100 or SUST5004
Semester 2

Unit of study descriptions

DENT5013 Preventative Dentistry

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Hayley Dixon and Dr Andrea Lenard Session: Semester 2 Classes: 7 x 2 hr workshop/tutorial sessions. Prerequisites: PUBH5018, PUBH5010 Assessment: Individual written assignments (70%), tutorial discussion and group-work participation (30%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Dental disease remains prevalent in Australia. The AIHW reports that in 2010, 55% of 6 year olds; 48% of 12 year olds in their deciduous and permanent dentitions, respectively.
The burden of this disease is significant and falls inequitably on those who are the most socially disadvantaged and those least able to access expensive treatment.
The most ethical and cost-effective manner of addressing oral disease is through preventative dental care.
To that end, this unit of study will permit post-graduate students with pre-existing oral health education to gain an advanced understanding of the factors that place an individual at risk of dental disease, including dental caries, oral cancer and periodontal disease. Students will examine the impact of such disease through a public health lens.
Students will also learn the theoretical basis for preventative dental care and how this knowledge may be applied for population-level effect.
Particular emphasis will be placed on the Australian context.
The ability to source and identify high-quality information is key to the practice of public health. As such, students will learn how to search and critically analyse the dental evidence base in order to identify robust material.
The course may also be suitable for other MPH and MIPH students who wish to obtain an understanding of oral health disease prevention and oral health promotion.
Teaching in this topic will draw on the expertise of public health academics and clinical oral health professionals.
improvement through effective oral health promotion strategies.
DENT5014 Dental Health Services

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Andrea Lenard Session: Semester 2 Classes: One 2 hour (maximum) session fortnightly in Semester Two. Sessions will consist of a combined tutorial/workshop format. It is recommended that students will need to dedicate 2-3 hours per week to cover essential reading and preparation for fortnightly sessions for successful completion of the course, excluding preparation time for course assessment. Prerequisites: PUBH5018, PUBH5010 Assessment: Working shop participation (20%), Assignment 1 (25%), Assignment 2(40%), quiz(15%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit of study provides students with an appreciation of the role and scope of oral health services within the Australian health care system by offering both foundational and applied knowledge required for analysis and evaluation of oral health service delivery. On the completion of this unit of study, students will understand the underpinning principles that contextualise primary oral health care; identify and articulate the socioeconomic and socio-political determinants that impact on the delivery and management of oral health services; and to critically evaluate the appropriateness of existing and proposed oral health services and programs for different population groups
LIN, V, SMITH, J and FAWKES, S 2014, Public health practice in Australia: the organised effort, 2nd edn, Allen and Unwin, Crows Nest, New South Wales
DENT5015 Population Oral Health

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Alex Holden Session: Semester 2 Classes: 30hrs consisting of 10x(1hr lecture/seminar and 2hr tutorial) Prerequisites: PUBH5010 or CEPI5100 or SUST5004 Assessment: individual written assignments (80%), tutorial discussion and group-work participation (20%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
To provide students with sufficient background and appreciation of the importance of population oral health and to provide them with the opportunity to develop skills and acquire essential knowledge in this field for the effective practice of population oral health. This unit focuses on the determinants of oral health and the importance of upstream measures to attack the root cause of oral diseases and the planning, implementing and evaluating of these approaches. The following topics will be covered: principles of population health approach, planning and policy framework for population oral health, the changing profile oral health and patterns of oral health care; water fluoridation (including legislation, benefits/risks, the politics of fluoridation, the arguments for and against water fluoridation, how to respond to antifluoridationists; how to promote and extend water fluoridation,), overview of policies and initiatives regarding dental services - the example of New South Wales; and oral health workforce and emerging workforce issues. On the completion of this unit of study students should be able to demonstrate ability to design/develop, implement and evaluate population based oral health programs to improve overall oral health and reduce inequalities in oral health.
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