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Paediatric and Restorative Dentistry

The Department of Paediatric and Restorative Dentistry is one of the non-speciality departments in the School of Oral Health Sciences (SOHS). It comprises of three disciplines i.e Operative/Restorative Dentistry, Endodontics and Paediatric Dentistry. These three disciplines give the undergraduate students the foundation of Dentistry as this is what the general dentist will need in their everyday practice once they qualify. It is therefore imperative that students get an in-depth knowledge and skills to prepare them for the real world of Dentistry, whereby they will be able to manage from the simplest to the more advanced procedures in restorative dentistry for both paediatric and adult patients.

The postgraduate programs (MSc Dent) in the department prepare students to be able to gain critical thinking and research knowledge in their areas of interest. Through clinical observations and patient management under supervision, postgraduate students get introduced to the advanced clinical training and service rendering in the department. Although the clinical interactions are limited, postgraduate students gain better knowledge in their registered programs as they partake in clinical case presentations, seminars, and other departmental activities during their training.

It is my wish and that of many Dentists in South Africa to see the introduction of specialities in the fields of Endodontics and Paediatric Dentistry as these are well established specialities of Dentistry in other countries. Although Endodontics is still quite behind in this regard, the Paediatric Dentistry community has made advances and we are hopeful that soon enough this discipline will be a recognised speciality in South Africa. I am proud to say that our department has played a role and made contributions to this mission.

The department boasts dedicated and highly qualified staff members who have been delivering high standards of education even during the most challenging and turbulent times that the SOHS went through. We are looking forward to a new era as the school is embarking on moving the clinical services to new premises which have a potential to take the standards at Wits School of Oral Health Sciences to even higher levels. The new pre-clinical skills laboratories which were officially opened by the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences in August 2022 have set the tone for this new era. I am indeed very proud to be part of this school and believe that the future is bright, and the potential is great. I also believe that the department of Paediatric and Restorative Dentistry has an important role to play in the building of a brighter future for the school.

The Department of Paediatric and Restorative Dentistry comprises of three divisions:

  • Operative Dentistry
  • Endodontics
  • Paediatric Dentistry

Paediatric and adult patients that are managed in the department present with a wide variety of dental problems. These include caries, dental trauma, endodontic problems, and conditions such as Fluorosis. These patients are managed by dental restorations, root canal treatments, and bleaching amongst others. Special needs patients are also managed in the department in collaboration with the medical colleagues and the dental specialists in our institution.

The undergraduate dental students are given the foundation of dentistry onto which other disciplines can build on or integrate with. The postgraduate students are taught to be critical and analytic in their thinking as they manage patients and carry out research in their areas of interest.