Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Public Health - The Role of the Dental Surgery Assistant in Health Promotion

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


DEPARTMENT Oral Rehabilitation and Community Care

DESCRIPTION This one year study unit offers an in depth focus on the principles of health promotion as applied to the dental field.

Topics to be covered shall include epidemiology, the factors determining oral health, the relationship between oral health and general health, diet and nutrition and the principles of oral health promotion. The role of General Preventive Strategies and Public Health Education in the reduction of disease and inequalities shall also be discussed.

Study-unit Aims:

The aims of the study-unit are to:
1. Present the determinants of health and the environmental factors that affect health;
2. Provide students with a thorough appreciation of the determinants of dental diseases and thus how they can be prevented;
3. Provide an understanding of the dental assistants' roles and responsibilities in dental health promotion, as part of the dental team in both a clinical and community setting;
4. Describe health promotion methods and the evidence backing such methods;
5. Expose the student to dental education models, theories and the process of behavioural change;
6. Provide students with the necessary skills to be able to communicate information on prevention of oral disease to individuals.

Learning Outcomes:

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

1. Explain how social, cultural and environmental factors contribute to general and oral health;
2. Explain the role of health promotion and disease prevention in improving oral and general health;
3. Define, in basic terms, local demographic and social trends, oral health trends, and determinants of health and inequalities in health;
4. Relate their roles and responsibilities when practicing in various clinical and community settings;
5. Discuss health- related information to be handed to individuals ensuring that it is accurate and consistent with organisational guidelines;
6. Explain the methods and importance of effective communication taking into account personal beliefs and preferences;
7. Discuss dental education models, theories and the process of behavioural change;
8. Define and appraise health promotion in terms of changing the environment, community and individual behaviours to deliver health gain.

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

1. Describe the concepts of oral health and general well-being;
2. Recall theoretical knowledge and apply it to the various practice settings;
3. Prepare and use oral health education aids (models, visual aids and leaflets);
4. Employ professional communication skills and provide evidence-based information on diet, oral health problems and suitable oral hygiene techniques for all sectors of the community.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Text:
1. Title: Essential Dental Public Health
Authors: Blanaid Daly, Richard Watt, Paul Batchelor, and Elizabeth Treasure
Edition 2nd
ISBN-10: 0199679371
ISBN-13: 978-0199679379

2. Title: Essentials of Dental Caries: The Disease and Its Management
Author: Edwina A. M. Kidd
Edition: 3rd
ISBN-10: 0198529783
ISBN-13: 978-0198529781

3. Title: Advanced Dental Nursing Paperback
Author: Robert Ireland
Edition: 2nd
ISBN-10: 1405192674
ISBN-13: 978-1405192675

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, Independent Study & Practicum

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Practical SEM2 Yes 40%
Online Examination (2 Hours) SEM2 Yes 60%

LECTURER/S Emma Schembri
Anne-Marie Agius
Nikolai Attard
Pauline Vassallo
Ethel Vento Zahra

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.