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About the School

The School of Oral Health Sciences resides within the Faculty of Health Sciences building, housing the preclinical laboratories and the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. It is a joint member of the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Gauteng Department of Health. Being one of few oral health training institutes in South Africa, the school prides itself in graduating world-class dental professionals every year.

The School admits a total of 58 undergraduate students annually into its undergraduate programmes, accommodating 40 dental students for the Bachelor of Dental Science undergraduate degree and 18 students for the Bachelor of Oral Health Science programme.

Undergraduate teaching is carried out at the Wits Oral Health Centre which houses an auditorium, a prosthodontic laboratory, an in-house dental laboratory, a fully equipped radiology department 74 undergraduate dental chairs and 14 postgraduate consultation rooms. The Bachelor of Dental Science programme commences with Anatomy and Physiology in the first year together with Fundamental Dental Skills, Community Dentistry and Dental Materials. Students are introduced into the clinics in the third year of study when patient treatment is performed under close supervision. Learning takes place at student ratios of 1:5 to afford students the opportunity to gain maximum exposure to the supervisors who guide and assist them as they hone their skills to become skilled clinicians.

The School of Oral Health Sciences is committed to providing excellence in teaching, research and service. To this end the School is determined to utilize all its resources optimally. Finance, Human Resources and Facilities are shared between the University and the Gauteng Department of Health and although the proportion of commitment may vary the resources are pooled to ensure maximum benefit to staff, students and patients.

Staff and students are encouraged to undertake research and publish their findings in nationally and internationally reputable scientific journals. Several initiatives have been undertaken to improve the research awareness in the School amongst students and staff, and also to promote growth in research output.

Community Engagement

The Community Oral Health Outreach Programme (COHOP) continues to represent Wits University by providing oral health services, teaching, and research amongst the Johannesburg Metro population. The dental services offered by COHOP are in line with the Primary Oral Health Care Package endorsed by the World Health Organisation and the Gauteng Department of Health.

The services and activities are extended to deprived, underserved communities within the inner-city areas thus making oral health accessible. The programme utilizes two Mobile Dental trucks that cover Early Developmental Centres, Special Needs Schools, Primary Schools, individuals living with HIV/AIDS  and government subsidized retirement villages. Successful planning and implementation of programmes have been as a result of combined efforts of the Registrars, Dental Therapists, and Oral Hygienists in the School. 

Contact: Dr Mpho Molete

Tel: (011)717-2630