Bachelor of Dental Science Overview
The Bachelor of Dental Science degree is a 5 year course which is undertaken at the Wits Health Sciences Campus in Parktown.
The first year of study aims at enforcing a solid foundation on which can students can build their career. The Anatomy and Physiology courses give students a deeper understanding and insight of the ideal structure and function of the human body. The preclinical Operative Dentistry, Dental Materials and Prosthodontics courses introduce students to dentistry and the basic skills required by dentists.
The second year continues to build on the skill set learnt in the first year of study. The Pathology, Microbiology and Oral Biology courses seek to apprise students of the various dysfunctions that occur and the sequelae thereof. A wider spectrum of dental skills are introduced including Endodontics, Maxillofacial and Oral Radiology, Integrated Learning and Dental Practice Management. The Public Oral Health and Bioethics courses also alert students to their social responsibilities as health professionals.
The third year is a milestone in the curriculum as it entails students entering the polyclinics for the first time. The focus of learning now shifts to clinical teaching whereby students, under the guidance of clinical instructors, perform patient treatment. This experience allows students to bridge the gap between theory and practical and unleashes a new brand of professional. Courses undertaken in the third year of study include Operative Dentistry, Endodontics, Paediatric Dentsitry, Prosthodontics as well as introductions to Orthodontics, Periodontology and Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery. The Public Oral Health course also introduces students to Research in this year.
The fourth year of study continues to hone students skillset in the various dental disciplines. The Comprehensive Patient Care course is introduced in this year to breakdown the "compartment syndrome" experienced by most students to allow them to focus on a holistic approach to patient treatment. The Fixed Prosthodontic, Rotary Endodontic, General Medicine and Oral Medicine courses are but a few highlights of this study year.
The final year of study seeks to tie in all aspects of the students dental education. A major emphasis of this year lies on comprehensive patient treatment, with a focus on community outreach programmes. Students are also afforded an opportunity to choose Electives in the fields of dentistry that interest them.