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Oral Rehabilitation

The Department was originally known as the Department of Prosthetic Dentistry, and was staffed by stalwarts of the discipline such as Professor Fred Hossack and Professor Frikkie van Reenen. Under their guidance a group of like-minded dentists formed the Prosthodontic Society of South Africa (PROSSA), which was influential in Prosthodontics becoming a recognised dental speciality in South Africa in 1980. While undergraduate students trained in removable prosthodontics in Prosthetic Dentistry, they training in fixed prosthodontics in the Department of Conservative Dentistry. Prosthodontic registrars were trained and assessed by both Departments before qualifying with a Master of Dentistry degree in prosthodontics. 

In 2002, with the move of the Dental School from Braamfontein to the dental polyclinics in Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, the Department of Prosthodontics was formed by joining the staff of Prosthetic Dentistry with those in Conservative Dentistry who taught fixed prosthodontics. The remaining Conservative Dentistry staff were housed in a new Department of Paediatric and Restorative Dentistry. In 2012, the Departments of Prosthodontics and the divisions of Operative and Endodontics formed the Department of Oral Rehabilitation, attempting to streamline patient treatment and improve integration of the undergraduate curriculum. 

The Department of Oral Rehabilitation is transdisciplinary and enjoys an unparalleled reputation both nationally and internationally. Research output has increased over the years, as has the number of postgraduates under supervision for our Master's courses, and PhD protocols are under development for several staff members. In addition, there have been efficiencies gained in the teaching programme with the removal of duplication of common themes such as caries and occlusion, amongst others, and the introduction of new ones such as the neuroscience of the stomatognathic system. 

We have also introduced dental neurosciences including the management of craniomandibular disorders, sleep medicine, and pain. 

The department comprises five clinical disciplines: 

  • Removable Prosthodontics and Geriatric Dentistry 
  • Fixed Prosthodontics and Craniomandibular Disorders 
  • Maxillo-facial Prosthodontics 
  • Implant Dentistry 
  • Endodontics 
  • Operative Dentistry 
Research Focus Areas

The members of the Department of Oral Rehabilitation are involved in several research projects on various aspects of prosthodontics, restorative dentistry, endodontics as well as in craniomandibular disorders


We are presently involved in research including:

  • CAD-CAM milling, Scanning accuracies, and Ceramics
  • Finite Element Analysis regarding the behaviour of dental implants, superstructures, and materials 
  • Optimal cementation techniques, adhesives, and marginal fit
  • The effectiveness of magnification in prosthodontics
  • Outcome measures in fixed and removable prosthodontics
  • Cone Beam accuracy
  • Cross infection in prosthodontics

Restorative Dentistry

  • Investigating the effect of contamination on bond strengths of composite to dentine


  • Studies on the MB2 canal in first molar teeth using CBCT
  • Assessing the quality of Endodontic treatment performed by the undergrad students at Wits
  • Studies in root canal transportation using different systems
  • Comparing obturation in teeth prepared with different systems with different shape geometry