Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Introduction to Dentistry - The Role of Dental Assistant

LEVEL 00 - Mod Pre-Tert, Foundation, Proficiency & DegreePlus


DEPARTMENT Faculty of Dental Surgery

DESCRIPTION This study-unit is a formal induction that imparts to the students the theoretical knowledge underlying their clinical skills in terms of preparing the dental environment, supporting the dental operator in all the different specialties and managing all patients in a professional manner. The student shall be tutored in the area of study skills.

Study-unit Aims:

The Study Unit "Introduction to Dentistry - The Role of the Dental assistant" aims to:

- Provide students with the theoretical background to the Dental Assistant's role in terms of their duties in surgery preparation, chair-side assistance, clinical photography and laboratory skills;
- Tutor students in the field of behaviour management and anxiety control;
- Tutor students in the field of professionalism;
- Introduce the student to the various dental specialties;
- Provide the student support by tutoring in study skills.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. In the area of Surgery Preparation:
- Explain the preparation and maintenance of the clinical environment including instruments and equipment;
- Explain the need for accurate recording of patient histories.

2. In the area of Chair-side assistance:
- Describe and demonstrate effective ways of providing chair-side support in all clinical procedures to patients and all other members of the Oral Health Care team;
- List the principles of maintaining a clear field of operation when assisting an operator;
- Describe and record the various methods of dental charting and annotation;
- Discuss appropriate patient management skills;
- Describe the use of equipment and materials utilised in clinical photography;
- Recognise and describe the work relationship between the dental clinic and the dental laboratory.

3. In the area of Behaviour Management:
- Recognise and describe the various levels of patient anxiety, experience and expectations in respect of dental care.

4. In the Field of Professionalism:
- Describe and demonstrate the principles of patient-centered care;
- Explain the reasons for and methods of maintaining confidentiality in relation to
a) duty of care for patients
b) colleagues
c) the employing organisation;
- Discuss the methods of identifying the patient's perspective and expectations of care and the role of the dental team, taking into account issues relating to equality, diversity and discrimination;
- Recognise the importance of maintaining professional appearance and behaviour.

5. Dental Specialties:
- Name and describe the nature of the different disciplines within the profession.

6. Study Skills
- Demonstrate the ability to manage their course work and approach their exams confidently.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. In the area of Surgery Preparation:
- Practice the ability to check for cleanliness, setting up of equipment and the preparation of dental instrument trays;
- Maintain organised patient history files and show the ability to retrieve, record and file all patient records.

2. In the area of Chair-side assistance, the student will under direct tutor supervision:
- Anticipate, select and arrange equipment, instruments and materials in the most likely order of use;
- Prepare, mix and handle dental materials;
- Prepare post-operative dressings;
- Be proficient in the practice of four-handed dentistry;
- Protect the patient's soft tissues, irrigate and aspirate the area during treatment;
- Accurately record dental charting as carried out by other appropriate registrants;
- Consistently practice greeting, positioning and dismissing the dental patient;
- Assist the operator in the taking of clinical photographs;
- Demonstrate the ability to pour, cast and trim study models;
- Prepare lab work prescriptions.

3. In the area of Behaviour Management:
- Monitor, support and reassure patients through effective communication, reassurance and relevant behavioural techniques to minimise fear and anxiety.

4. In the field of Professionalism:
- Demonstrate respect for patients' dignity and choice;
- Protect the confidentiality of patient information;
- Act with integrity and be trustworthy;
- Outline their own capabilities and limitations in the interest of high quality patient care and always act within their boundaries;
- Behave professionally by being punctual and polite and upholding personal and professional values.

5. Dental Specialties:
- The student will provide basic chair-side support to the operator during the various clinical procedures encountered in all the different fields of Dentistry. All chair-side observation will be carried out under direct tutor supervision.

6. Study Skills:
Manage the course work effectively and prepare for exams using good time management and study filtering techniques.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Text:
Title: Levison's Textbook for Dental Nurses
Author: Carole Hollins
Edition: 11th
ISBN-10: 111850044X
ISBN-13: 978-1118500446

Reference Text
Title: Contemporary Dental Assisting
Author: Darlene Novak
Edition: 1st
ISBN-10: 0801677327
ISBN-13: 978-0801677328

ADDITIONAL NOTES Attendance to scheduled sessions, inclusive of lectures/tutorials, practical, laboratory and clinical components is compulsory. Students who do not attend at least 90% of the scheduled sessions will not be allowed to sit for any of the assessment components mentioned below.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Online Examination (2 Hours) SEM1 Yes 50%
Online Examination (2 Hours) SEM2 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Maria Luisa Gainza-Cirauqui
Anne-Marie Agius
Nikolai Attard
Nicolas Bezzina
Adrienne Busuttil
Carmen Caruana
Anna De Gaetano
Gabriella Gatt
Elizabeth Martinelli
Nadia Mattocks
David Paul Mifsud
Mario Joseph Zarb

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.