The Department of Oral Sciences (Dental Public Health, Oral Biology, Oral Health (Dental Hygiene, and Dental Therapy), Oral Microbiology, Orthodontics, Paediatric Dentistry, and Periodontology) undertakes teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. At undergraduate level, students in all of the Faculty's programmes interact with the Department. At graduate level, the Department offers courses of study and research leading to the degrees of Doctor of Clinical Dentistry and Master of Community Dentistry. Postgraduate diplomas are offered also.
In the specialist disciplines, the Department provides patient care in student clinics, and specialist staff provide care for referred patients from throughout Otago and give advice to dental practitioners throughout New Zealand. The Department also hosts the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Dental Epidemiology and Public Health.
Research in the Department
The Department of Oral Sciences has the facilities necessary to undertake molecular biology, oral immunology cell biology, microbiological, biochemical, clinical, and dental materials research, including DNA, RNA and protein analysis, PCR and real time PCR, hybridization, DNA sequencing and HPLC. The Department also has facilities for tissue culture and clinical research facilities.
Research conducted within the Department includes molecular microbiology, oral immunology, oral biology, dental anthropology, clinical dentistry, public health dentistry and teaching delivery. Other interests are laser speckle interflowmetry and computer modeling. Molecular microbiology serves as the flagship of the School's research effort and is part of the University's Oral Microbiology and Dental Health Research Theme. Areas of interest include the mechanisms of eukaryotic and prokaryotic attachment during pathogenisis, intergeneric co-adherence of micro-organisms, drug resistance in Candida species and proton-pumping ATPase targets for novel antifungal drugs. An oral immunolopathology laboratory has been established within the Department under the directorship of Professor Greg Seymour.
Oral Biology research (recognised as one of the University's areas of research excellence) involves apoptosis, calcium and cellular stress as well as TMJ anatomy and dysfunction and dental wear in modern and archaic populations. Orthodontic research includes clinical studies, craniofacial growth and obstructive sleep apnoea. Dental epidemiology and public health research covers gerodontology, dental caries, tooth loss, periodontal disease, dental anxiety and xerostomia. The Department also has an active education research programme, which is concerned with problem-based learning and applications of Information Technology. Paediatric Dentistry research includes investigation of enamel hypomineralisation and the longterm outcomes of early childhood caries.
The Head of Department is Professor Richard Cannon.
Dental Public Health
- Mrs Alison Meldrum (Convenor)
- Ms Susan Moffat (Head, Dental Therapy)
- Miss Rebecca Ahmadi (Professional Practice Fellow)
- Ms Kirsty Barltrop (Professional Practice Fellow)
- Deanna Beckett (Professional Practice Fellow)
- Ms Esther Devaney (Professional Practice Fellow)
- Annabelle Fraser (Professional Practice Fellow)
- Dr Nicholas Heng (Senior Lecturer)
- Ms Karen Hore (Professional Practice Fellow)
- Ebony Hsu (Professional Practice Fellow)
- Priyangika Konthasingha (Professional Practice Fellow)
- Jo McBeth (Professional Practice Fellow)
- Dr Brian Monk (Senior Lecturer)
- Ms Gina Todd (Professional Practice Fellow)
- Ms Kirsten Wade (Head, Dental Hygiene)
- Ms Judith Windle (Professional Practice Fellow)
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