Faculty of Dentistry


Oral Sciences

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.


Staff and students from the Department of Oral Sciences undertake research in the Sir John Walsh Research Institute (SJWRI). The SJWRI 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 SJWRI also has facilities for tissue culture and clinical research facilities.

Research conducted by staff and students 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 bioscience serves as the flagship of the School's research effort. 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.

Oral Biology research 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. 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

Molecular Microbiology

Oral Biology

Oral Health

  • Mrs Alison Meldrum (Convenor)
  • Ms Susan Moffat (Head, Dental Therapy)
  • Mrs Rebecca Ahmadi (Lecturer)
  • 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)
  • Ms Nikki Marasigan (Professional Practice Fellow)
  • Associate Professor Brian Monk
  • Ms Gina Todd (Professional Practice Fellow)
  • Ms Kirsten Wade (Professional Practice Fellow)
  • Ms Judith Windle (Professional Practice Fellow)


Paediatric Dentistry


Further Information


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University of Otago Faculty of Dentistry