The Discipline seeks to achieve excellence in the provision of education and training programmes aimed at recruiting and developing oral health personnel who are competent to respond appropriately to the oral health needs of the people they serve, with emphasis on the primary health care approach.
The programme aims to train dental professionals as part of the oral health team in order to play preventive, promotive, supportive, curative and rehabilitative roles in the public and private sectors. Students qualifying with the Bachelor of Oral Hygiene degree can work in the public sector as well as in private practice, and can perform all functions within the scope of primary and secondary levels of prevention in dentistry. They perform scaling and polishing, take dental x-rays, administer local anaesthesia, provide health education and promotion, and are able to examine and diagnose common oral diseases.
In the first year, students are trained in pre-clinical courses that equip them to work on patients. In the second year, they learn basic clinical skills and patient care at the Oral and Dental Training Hospital. In the third year, they spend most of their time working on patients in the different clinical disciplines within the scope of oral hygiene.
Nineteen final-year Dental Therapy students from the Seychelles received clinical training during a two-week sojourn at UKZN hosted by the Dentistry Discipline.