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You are here Courses > Postgraduate > Clinical Doctorate in Dental Surgery > Periodontology

Periodontology

The Graduate programme in Periodontology is one of the 15 Graduate programs in Europe currently approved by the European Federation of Periodontology (accredited since 2007, re-accredited in 2015 until 2023). Click here to visit their website. The Programme is also accredited by the Irish Committee for Specialist Training in Dentistry (ICSTD).

The Periodontics training prepares the student for specialty membership examinations and provides the basis for continuing professional development after completion of the programme. The training includes didactic and clinical components. The student is required to complete one or more research projects and to be involved in clinical and didactic undergraduate teaching activities.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have had at least 2 years clinical experience following their undergraduate studies and should ordinarily have passed their MFDS or equivalent.

Course outline – Programme Learning Outcomes

To receive a Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DChDent.) degree, the student is required to

  • Be in attendance in the programme for 36 months;
  • Complete all courses and pass all course assessments;
  • Demonstrate clinical proficiency in a range of periodontal/implant procedures;
  • Participate in and assume responsibility for one or more research projects;
  • Organize, write and present a thesis which should form the basis for one or more publishable papers
  • Successfully defend the research in a viva voce examination.

If, at the end of 36 months, the student has not completed programme requirements, he/she has the option of registering for one (or more) terms(s) to finish the necessary requirements.

Programme Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this programme the student should be able to:

  • describe the biology and pathology of the periodontium as well as the principles of bone biology, wound healing and tissue integration.
  • describe relevant surgical head and neck anatomy.
  • demonstrate knowledge of the principles of dental implant material science and implant biomechanics.
  • utilize the appropriate imaging techniques relevant to periodontal and implant treatment.
  • collect, organise, analyse, interpret and present clinical data related to examination of periodontal tissues.
  • collect, organise, analyse, interpret and present clinical data related to the assessment of sites planned for implant placement.
  • demonstrate competence in non-surgical and surgical management of periodontal defects, regenerative techniques, mucogingival procedures and analysing occlusal factors in the expression of periodontal disease.
  • perform “restoration driven” implant placement based on the pre-operative planning.
  • perform augmentation procedures prior to implant placement by using the appropriate material and techniques.
  • establish a prognosis for the outcomes of periodontal and implant treatments.
  • develop and implement recall and evaluate strategies for periodontal treatment including supportive maintenance therapy.
  • establish the risks, benefits and limitations of conscious sedation.
  • administer pharmacological agents for the relief of anxiety.
  • function effectively with other disciplines in treatment planning and in treatment sequencing.
  • analyse critically relevant scientific articles published in international and national journals.
  • conduct, present and publish research projects.
  • teach in both didactic and clinical areas of undergraduate periodontics at the level of a junior faculty member.

Module 1 - Advanced Dental Science

Bio Sciences

Cell Biology

Students who have successfully completed this component of the module will be able to:

  1. Describe the structures and functions of 4 families of macromolecules
  2. Describe at the molecular level the process of:
    • DNA replication
    • DNA transcription
    • The Cell Nucleus
    • mRNA translation into protein
  3. Illustrate the application of molecular biology in modern biomedical science.
  4. Describe the structures and signal transduction mechanisms of receptor superfamilies that mediate intercellular communication.

Microbiology

Students who have successfully completed this component of the module will be able to:

  1. Describe occupational risks of infection in the dental clinical setting and the strategies employed to minimise infection risks.
  2. Apply general principles of infection control and prevention in the dental clinical setting, with particular emphasis on biofilms in dental chair unit waterlines and suction systems as a source of cross infection and cross contamination and their effective control.
  3. Develop and apply appropriate risk assessment strategies to minimise risks of acquisition of Legionnaires Disease in the dental clinical setting in accordance with current national and international legislation and guidelines.
  4. Recognise the appropriate use and limitations of personal protective clothing and equipment (PPE) in the dental clinic setting.
  5. Assess appropriate strategies to prevent and /or minimise percutaneous injuries and the appropriate strategies required to manage a percutaneous injury.
  6. Implement appropriate decontamination of reusable, invasive medical devices in the dental clinic setting in accordance with current national guidelines and best practice.
  7. Assess transmissible spongiform encephalopathies and prions and their implications for the practice of dentistry.
  8. Discuss current national guidelines and legislation regarding the management of all types of healthcare waste and their implementation in the dental clinical setting.

Oral Physiology

Students who have successfully completed this course will be able to:

  1. Describe the role of saliva in maintaining oral health and the mechanisms involved in salivary secretion
  2. Analyse and appraise the process of swallowing and speech including the structure and dynamic properties of taste buds and olfactory neurons.
  3. Analyse the clinical considerations regarding taste and smell.

Research & Scientific Method

Clinical Dental Photography

Students who have successfully completed this component of the module will be able to:

  1. Explain and practise the principles of photography and macro photography in relation to clinical dentistry.
  2. Duplicate radiographs, diagrams, models both digitally and conventionally
  3. Present clinical materials for lectures, log diaries or publications
  4. Produce high quality text slides, clinical images and illustrations for computer presentations.
  5. Operate within the data protection and medico legal aspects of the acquisition, storage use and transmission of clinical images including those of minors, including protection of patient identity.
  6. Communicate information with peers through various electronic media.
  7. Critically evaluate results obtained from clinical photographic imaging, digital radiographic and other material duplication, including clinical slides and illustrations.

Computer Based Technology

Students who have successfully completed this component of the module will be able to:

  1. Select and use appropriate computer packages for communication and record keeping in dental practice and professional presentations.

Introduction to Research

Students who have successfully completed this component of the module will be able to:

  1. Plan and implement all aspects of research project including application for ethical approval.

Research & Statistics

Students who have successfully completed this component of the module will be able to:

  1. appraise study designs so as to avoid bias (sampling, randomisation and blinding)
  2. recognise the different types of data  and apply appropriate summaries
  3. interpret ranges and standard deviations as indicators of the spread of data and their effect on statistical significance
  4. interpret standard errors and confidence intervals as they relate to means
  5. apply basic principles for the comparison of means (power, t-test, types 1 and 2 errors)
  6. recognise and interpret absolute and relative risk (odds ratios and relative risk)
  7. compare categorical data for groups (Chi square test, Fishers exact test)
  8. interpret correlations

Scientific Writing

Students who have successfully completed this component of the module will be able to:

  1. appraise conventions used in scientific writing including moves made by scientific writers to establish their research space when writing abstracts and introductions
  2. select reporting verbs, when writing citations, to demonstrate understanding, to reflect their own and reported author’s attitude and stance towards the validity of the reported information, and to put their own work into a particular perspective in relation to other researcher’s work.
  3. Choose concise, precise, and substantive discourse in the appropriate brow by controlling tone, word choice, and level of detail appropriate to the particular genre and intended audience.

Presentation, Communication Skills & Research

Students who have successfully completed this component of the module will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate and professionally develop their presentation and communication skills.
  2. Identify different aspects of both verbal and non verbal communication
  3. Develop communication techniques including giving feedback and managing interactions with both groups and individuals.
  4. Clarify the purpose, content and context of presentations.
  5. Manage the planning, preparation, delivery and assessment phases of presentations
  6. Identify and implement strategies for overcoming nerves and unforeseen events.
  7. Deliver a presentation to peers based on their research protocols, work in progress or completed projects
  8. Use effective methods of communication to deliver and receive feedback.

EndNote Training

Students who have successfully completed this component of the module will be able to:

  1. Use appropriate bibliographic reference software to store, manage, organise and format bibliographic references to be used in research papers and publications
  2. Create and format citations and bibliographies for research papers or thesis.

CT Scanning for Planning Dental Implants (Simplant course)

Students who have successfully completed this component of the module will be able to:
Analyse and practice the use of CT Scanning for Planning Dental Implants (Simplant) including recent technical advances:

  1. 16 and 64 Slice CT Scanners
  2. Cone beam CT Scanners
  3. New surgical drill guides

Imaging

Students who have successfully completed this component of the module will be able to:

  1. Select various imaging modalities used within the field of dentistry.
  2. Assess risk and benefits associated with various procedures and the typical doses involved.
  3. Describe basic radiographic anatomy of standard projections, typical film faults and the limitations of interpreting a two dimensional image of a three dimensional structure.
  4. Describe harmful effects of radiation and measures that should be taken to minimise risks to patients, staff and the public.
  5. Evaluate other imaging modalities and their applications within dentistry.

Behavioural Science

Psychology & Behavioural Science

Students who have successfully completed this component of the module will be able to:

  1. Describe the basic principles of Psychology
  2. Explain psychology as it relates the person and health
  3. Outline the models of health behaviour and illness perceptions
  4. Appraise issues relating to stress and health: Psychoneuroimmunology
  5. Evaluate risk, difficulties in communication and available techniques.
  6. Evaluate developmental perspective Psychology

Health Care Economics

Students who have successfully completed this component of the module will be able to:

  1. Explain economic principles and how they can be applied to health and health care.
  2. Consider the market for health care and market failures in finance and delivery of care.
  3. Compare different approaches to financing of health services and their effects.
  4. Introduce the concepts in economic evaluation and setting priorities in provision of services.
  5. Evaluate key aspects of the market for health and health care, and the links between these and the ways in which health care is financed and delivered.
  6. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to mitigate the effects of market failure in health care.
  7. Define the different mechanisms for financing health care, and their likely impact on efficiency of health services and access to care.
  8. Identify the purpose and approach in economic evaluation, and the meaning of economic evidence.

Professional Ethics

Students who have successfully completed this component of the module will be able to:

  1. Describe the basic principles of medical ethics and the professional regulations and legal framework within which dentistry is carried out in Ireland the U.K.
  2. Demonstrate independent thought and judgement on dento-legal issues.
  3. Appraise the legal, practical and ethical issues involved in the use of animals in research.
  4. Analyse a case using the four principles of medical ethics and the legal framework
  5. Consider details of the law and professional regulations as they apply to consent to treatment, confidentiality, good record keeping and negligence.

Pain

Students who have successfully completed this component of the module will be able to:

  1. Analyse information on the clinical management, differential diagnosis and pathophysiological mechanisms of orofacial pain.
  2. Describe the development of pain science, current terminology and the role of pain management in dentistry.
  3. Discuss the mechanisms of neuropathic, neurovascular and musculosketal pain in the orofacial region.
  4. Evaluate clinical assessment procedures including history taking, physical examination and special tests.
  5. Criticise interventional and non-interventional methods of chronic pain management.
  6. Discuss temporomandibular joint pain: current opinion, aetiology, diagnosis and management.

Thesis Preparation

Students who have successfully completed this component of the module will be able to:
Design, organise, write and present a substantial, intellectually challenging research project related to their field of study under the guidance of and in collaboration with their supervisor according to the University guidelines.

Practice Management

Students who have successfully completed this component of the module will be able to:

  1. Analyse criteria for selection of a location for a dental practice
  2. Appraise suitability of various money loan institutions, financial management systems and the value of pension funds
  3. Discuss the management of patient database within the practice and various computer models.
  4. Identify equipment and stock control measures
  5. Explore staff recruitment, management and development of the dental team
  6. Identify ergonomics and surgery design
  7. Describe strategies for leisure time.

Module 2 The Periodontium

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  1. Evaluate the literature available that forms the basis for current concepts on the development, structure and function of the normal periodontium;
  2. Critically evaluate classic periodontal literature
  3. describe the anatomy of the periodontium
  4. Demonstrate knowledge pathogenesis of periodontal diseases
  5. Support clinical viewpoints on periodontal examination, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment planning with relevant published data
  6. Apply up to date knowledge on periodontal therapy including emergency care, oral hygiene, aseptic routines, scaling/root planing, instrument care, corrective therapy, regenerative therapy, mucogingival therapy and supportive therapy

Module 3 Periodontal Pathology

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  1. Refer to the specific literature which forms the basis for current concepts on the etiology, pathogenesis and histopathology of periodontal diseases;
  2. Critically evaluate current literature specific to periodontal pathology

Module 4 Classical and Current Periodontal Literature

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  1. Discuss and assess the evidence base for the practice of modern periodontics
  2. Independently assess the literature in order to facilitate life long learning

Module 5 Clinical Practice Periodontics

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  1. Collect, organise, analyse and interpret data from periodontally involved patients
  2. Interpret radiographs as they relate to diagnosis of periodontal diseases and dental implants;
  3. Formulate periodontal diagnoses and prognoses for individual teeth and for the whole dentition;
  4. Formulate and justify comprehensive treatment plans
  5. Appraise results of therapy in relation to the evidence base
  6. Describe to patients the nature of their periodontal health status and treatment needs
  7. Interpret the advice of other health care professionals and integrate their information into the treatment of the patient
  8. Organise, develop, implement and evaluate periodontal disease control programmes for patients
  9. Implement and evaluate patient recall programme
  10. Function effectively in the dental team by demonstrating leadership and the ability to utilize the appropriate dental personnel.

Module 6 Classical and Current Implant Literature

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  1. Critically review and discuss oral implantology literature and literature that interfaces with oral implantology.

Module 7 Clinical Practice in Oral Implant Surgery

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  1. Apply their knowledge to the pre surgical examination of dental implant patients, in order to gather appropriate diagnostic aids, and efficiently treatment plan for root form dental implants.
  2. Demonstrate practical competence in surgical placement of dental root form implants
  3. Evaluate peri-implant tissues and manage implant complications
  4. Distinguish between health and disease in peri-implant tissues
  5. Select and carry out the appropriate supportive therapy for dental implants
  6. Apply sterile/aseptic surgical techniques in the placement of dental implants
  7. Select and utilize graft materials/membranes for bone and soft tissue augmentation procedures in conjunction with dental implant surgical therapy.

Module 8 Clinical Conference Periodontics / Implants

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  1. Utilise audio visual aids in order to communicate to colleagues treatments carried out
  2. Deliver a presentation on comprehensive patient care based on evidence.

Module 9 Conscious Sedation

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  1. Describe the theoretical principles of conscious sedation and anxiety management in dentistry
  2. Demonstrate practical and clinical skills required for the practice of intravenous and inhalation conscious sedation, as applicable to current practice in Ireland.
  3. Act as team leader to practice conscious sedation safely and independently
  4. Assess knowledge of the aetiology and patho-physiology of dental anxiety, the pharmacology of drugs and relevant anatomy in relation to conscious sedation.
  5. Assess and select patients suitable for conscious sedation
  6. Describe the peri-operative care of sedation patients
  7. Assess  the management of sedation-related and medical emergencies
  8. Appraise the body of knowledge and guidelines which underpin and regulate the practice of conscious sedation in Ireland.
  9. Examine the principles of clinical research and audit appropriate to the investigation of an area of conscious sedation or anxiety control.

Module 10 Practice Teaching in Periodontics

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  1. Supervise and evaluate undergraduate student clinic periodontal work
  2. Deliver lectures and/or develop self-instructional teaching material;
  3. Construct and evaluate written examination questions.

Module 11 Thesis preparation

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  1. Design, organise and write a substantial, intellectually challenging research project related to their field of study, under the guidance of and in collaboration with other staff members.
  2. Implement the research project with scholarly integrity, rigour and discrimination, which may involve the development of new skills techniques, tools, materials or practices and complete it within a set timeframe.
  3. Assimilate and selectively apply concepts, theories, methods and subject specific terminology used in their field of study.
  4. Sustain a coherent argument that draws on an engagement with and critical appraisal of existing knowledge relevant to their research project.
  5. Relate their specific research topic to wider issues, debates and concerns in the general field of Periodontology and Implantology.
  6. Reflect on and self critically manage their own learning in the context of limited access to constructive feedback.
  7. Present and successfully defend their thesis in a viva voce examination which will be marked both internally and by an external examiner.
  8. Produce a paper based on their original research project which merits publication in a high impact factor national or international scientific journal and which could promote scientific, technological, social or cultural advancement.

Assessment Methods

  • End of year written examinations -all years
  • Clinical case conference grading -all years
  • Final presentation of 5 completed and documented clinical cases as specified by the European Federation of Periodontology
  • Thesis defence as specified by the European Federation of Periodontology
  • Clinical proficiency testing -all years

Research in Periodontology and Implantology

Research on this theme is carried out in collaboration with universities in Sweden, Norway and Switzerland. The research focuses on investigating diagnostic methods and treatment modalities for the management of periodontal disease and peri-implantitis. Microbiological input is provided by the Dublin Dental University Hospital Microbiological Unit and University Of Berne in Switzerland. Research is also ongoing in collaboration with the Bio-engineering Group in Trinity College Dublin in bone regeneration using stem cell seeded scaffolds. Currently the staff involved includes Professor Noel Claffey, Professor Stefan Renvert (Visiting Professor) and Dr Ioannis Polyzois.