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Dental Science

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What is Dental Science?

Dental Science is the study of the oral cavity and the diseases associated with oral tissues. This five-year programme is designed to ensure that graduates can safely and effectively deliver the full range of primary dental care, including prevention, diagnosis and treatment of oral and dental diseases. Treatment involves areas such as the restoration of damaged teeth, the correction of irregularities, the replacement of missing teeth and surgical procedures such as the removal of teeth. In recent years there has been an exponential advance in dental science with greater emphasis on preventing disease as well as the development of new, minimally invasive methods and materials for restoring teeth.

Dental Science: The course for you?

If you have an ability to build caring and professional relationships with patients, co-workers and the wider community and if healthcare interests you, specifically oral healthcare and its impact on individuals, then Dental Science is right for you. You should also enjoy undertaking physically and mentally demanding clinical practice, which requires considerable attention to detail with small margins for error. The course is long (five years) and intense, requiring stamina and commitment.

Dental Science @ Trinity

This course is based in the Dublin Dental University Hospital situated on the Trinity College campus. Clinical facilities are of a very high standard, emphasising the use of information technology. Class sizes are small, to ensure that students receive considerable staff input into their progress throughout the programme. Much of the teaching is delivered through Problem-Based Learning and there is lots of hands-on clinical experience treating patients. Students are introduced to clinical practice in first year as observers and they commence treating their own patients (under supervision) in the second year. By the fifth year students are expected to have completed a wide range of treatments similar to those provided in general dental practice. Graduates of the Trinity School of Dental Science and Dublin Dental University Hospital are highly sought after due to the extensive clinical exposure obtained during the programme.

Graduate skills and career opportunities

Graduates of the Dental Science programme in Trinity College are widely recognised for their clinical experience and are highly sought after. Graduates are clinically competent, have good communication skills and are well prepared for life-long learning. There is a wide range of career options open to newly qualified dentists, from general dental practice providing both state-funded or private dental care, or in the salaried public dental service. Many graduates choose to continue their education, specialising in one area within dentistry. Dentistry gives scope to work and travel worldwide. Citizens of the EU who graduate from an EU dental school may practice anywhere in the EU and there is currently demand for dentists all over Europe.


Your degree and professional practice (B.A., B.Dent.Sc)

The Bachelor of Dental Science (B.Dent.Sc) conferred by Trinity entitles EU citizens to register as a dentist on the Register of the Dental Council of Ireland and they may also register with the regulatory bodies of other countries in the EU.

Graduates wishing to practice in countries outside the EU may be required to pass specified examinations. However, there is a mutual recognition agreement between Ireland and Canada whereby Irish dental graduates may practice dentistry in Canada without the necessity to complete additional study.

Your degree and what you’ll study

The curriculum is largely delivered in a problem-based learning (PBL) format, which aims to provide you with the skills to continuously evaluate and update your knowledge and clinical practice throughout your professional career. PBL is designed to encourage students to study subjects in an integrated manner and within a context relevant to clinical cases. PBL also encourages students to engage in self-directed learning and aims to provide graduates with the skills necessary for life-long learning, which is a requirement for all health care professionals. Lectures, demonstrations, simulations, audio-visual and e-learning opportunities are also provided.

From second year onwards, you will provide patient care in the clinic under the strict supervision of qualified dental staff.

First year modules

Personal and Professional Development, Human Biology I, Physical Science. During the second semester, you will begin observing on the clinic.

Second year modules

Basic Dental Care, Human Biology II, Oral Biology and Introduction to Pathology, Public Dental Health.

In second year, you will develop particular communication skills, learning how to interpret and explain clinical signs and symptoms of systemic and oral disease with particular reference to dental practice, and begin to practice the clinical skills necessary for the treatment of patients. Clinical training begins half way through second year with students learning the vital basic skills of history taking, examination and diagnosis and will start providing very simple treatments for patients.

Third year modules

Clinical Medical Sciences, Fixed and Removable Prosthodontics, Comprehensive Patient Care I.

Fourth year modules

Comprehensive Patient Care II; Advanced Restorative Dentistry I, Child Dental Health; Oral Medicine, Oral Surgery and Oral Pathology I; Public Dental Health.

Fifth year modules

Comprehensive Patient Care III, Advanced Restorative Dentistry II, Public and Child Dental Health, Oral Medicine, Oral Surgery and Oral Pathology II, Evidence-Based Dentistry.

During years 3 to 5, you will be encouraged to undertake the management of oral health and disease in your own patients is based on the best available scientific evidence. In tandem with this, you will also need an awareness of general healthcare issues for individuals and communities. In these three years, you will provide more complex patient care.

In keeping with the PBL-style curriculum, a wide variety of assessment methods are used in all years. There are end-of-term integrated written assessments, practical tests, skills tests of competence, clinical examinations, written reports and oral/verbal presentations. The written assessments include short essays, short answer and multiple choice type questions.


Study abroad

Students in fourth year may participate in English-speaking Erasmus exchange programmes with dental schools in Norway, Sweden or the UK. Between the fourth and fifth year, some students undertake voluntary placements in a wide variety of international locations.





Tel: +353 1 612 7316 / +353 1 896 7301



What our students say

Jill Mc Ternan, Final Year Dental Science student 2017

As a final year student, I am so glad that I chose to study Dental Science in Trinity. Studying in Trinity has allowed me to make friends from all over the world and to learn from leading figures in the dental field. I have received an excellent education while still being able to partake in everything Trinity has to offer.


Training combines both theory and practical learning with clinical training beginning in the second year. Students are taught to provide the highest level of dental care to their patients with little room for error. During your training there are opportunities for travel including Erasmus and volunteering abroad. In my fourth year, I volunteered in a Kenyan hospital providing much-needed dental care and education to local communities, which was both eye-opening and heart-warming experience.


Despite the heavy work load, I am glad I chose Trinity for my undergraduate education as Dental Science graduates are highly sought after in terms of employment due to our extensive clinical education. 


Paul Sexton, Final Year Dental Science student 2017


As a Doctor training in the specialty of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Making the decision to return to the world of undergraduate study was a difficult one. For one to summarise four of the most important years of my surgical career to date is not easy. What I will say is that when it comes to studying at Dublin Dental school I made the right choice. The Dublin Dental Hospital’s staff at every level within the organisation exhibited an exceptional commitment and attention to detail in the delivery of the dental curriculum. I can not thank the staff enough for their help and guidance throughout my time at the hospital. Every year the hospital strives for the highest of standards and with that I can honestly say I leave the hospital with undoubtedly a great education and solid foundations on which I can build my future surgical career”.



Course Options

Admission Requirements

For general admission requirements please click here

Leaving Certificate H3 + H4 In two of: physics, chemistry, biology, physics/chemistry. If you do not have a qualification in physics you must present mathematics at O5/H6 or better.

Advanced GCE (A-Level) Grade B + Grade C In two of: physics, chemistry or biology If you do not have a qualification in physics you must present GCSE mathematics at grade B or better

Combinations of subjects not permitted: Physics/Chemistry with Physics or Chemistry

All offers of admission to this course are made subject to infectious disease testing. See precautions against infectious diseases

Students will be required to undergo Garda vetting.

NOTE: All students are required to purchase a dental instrument kit during Year 2 of the programme. The approximate cost of this is €3,000.


To apply to this course, click on the relevant Apply Link below

EU Applicants

Read the information about how to apply, then apply directly to CAO.

Non-EU Applicants

  • Dental Science, 5 years full-time Closing Date: 01/FEB/2018
  • Advanced Entry Applications

    Read the information about how to apply for Advanced Entry, then select the link below to apply.