Dental Therapy (Adult Scope) CPD Long Course


Course overview

This course offers Oral Health Therapists (OHT) with the opportunity to further their studies to include Adult Dental Therapy. It extends their scope to deliver dental therapy to adult patients aged 18 and over. The removal of patient age limits from the legislation has allowed the profession to advance their skills in provision of this service.

The course will focus on Caries Management on adults and older adults by providing didactic lectures and application of skills using a preventive approach in managing the oral health needs of the Australian population.

The components of this course consists of face-to-face didactic lectures, simulation practice and work-based training by dentist oversight. All participants are required to comply with the assessment requirements of the course. The scientific course consists of three modules.

All participants are required to undertake 5 weeks of educational and simulation practice and pass the competency assessment in simulation practice, prior to supervised clinical practice (with dentist oversight) to deliver adult dental therapy service.

2018 Course Waitlist

Course dates for 2018 have not been finalised. If you would like to be notified when course dates have been confirmed please click here.


OHT instruments

Course information

Module 1 - Caries management and oral health sciences
The objectives include
  • Caries Management and its application including adults and older adults including root caries
  • Extension of clinical restorative skills to the provision of simple direct restoration in the adult patient
  • Tooth wear and management of non-carious lesions
  • Management of patients with fixed or removable prostheses
  • Development of critical appraisal skills in evidence-based practice
  • Review of the use of Local Anaesthetics and its complications in oral health settings
Assessment: 1 x 1.5hr MCQ and 1 x Critical Appraisal
Module 2 - Adult oral function and oral pathology
The objectives include
  • Management of medically compromised patients
  • Recognition of polypharmacy in the adult population
  • Development in identification of oral pathological conditions in the clinical situation
  • Development of knowledge in the identification of TMJ dysfunction
  • Development of knowledge in aged care and nutrition
  • Pharmacology and common medical conditions
Assessment: 1 x Assignment (common medical conditions and pharmacology)
Module 3 - Oral health clinical practice (Adult Dental Therapy Focus)
The objectives include
  • Extension of knowledge and clinical application of Oral Health Therapy Treatment Planning
  • Scenario-based Simulation Practice
  • Clinical Practice – adult focus (Work-based Training)

Assessment: Clinical Practice - continuous assessment (Simulation Clinic and work-based) and Adult Dental Therapy Case Portfolio (limit 2000 words). 

Dentist oversight

2017 requirement (under review)
All clinical supervisors (dentist oversight) are required to sign an agreement, undertake an online orientation and be on-site to support student learning and provide oversight, assessment and feedback for clinical practice. An assessment rubric will be provided for this purpose. All participants will be provided with a logbook for clinical practice which includes the assessment criteria and requirements for the entire clinical practice period.

Scenario- based simulation practice

All applicants are required to participant in simulation practice to apply caries management skills for the adult patients. Scenario-based learning is used to encourage participants to take an active approach in learning through the use of realistic scenarios to contextualise learning. All participants will be provided with instruments and a Columbia Typodont Model for use within the University of Sydney Simulation Clinic. Participants may be required to purchase more plastic teeth to practice from the vending machine available at the simulation premises.

Simulation safety protocol

All participants are required to follow the simulation practice protocol.

- Protective eyewear
- Protective footwear
- Protective clothing
- Infection Control – hair, nails, jewelleries, etc.

All participants are required to undertake 5 weeks of educational and simulation practice and pass the competency assessment in simulation practice prior to supervised clinical practice to deliver adult dental therapy service.

Mandatory requirements

  • Proof of current AHPRA registration as either a Dental Therapist or Oral Health Therapist.
  • Proof of graduation with either an undergraduate degree in Oral Therapy, Oral Health, or Dental Therapy & Dental Hygiene. Alternatively a Certificate of Dental Therapy or Diploma of Dental Therapy.
  • Proof of recency or current practice/employment and certificate of professional indemnity insurance
  • 2017 requirement (under review) Provision of the contact details and APRHA registration of the supervising dentist (dentist oversight), to include: name; APHRA registration number; professional address; email address; and telephone number
  • 2017 requirement (under review) Supervising dentist to confirm participation in writing
  • Please note – we can only accept candidates (and their supervising dentists) who have no restrictions on clinical practice.

Definitions for standard of modalities related to dental therapy of all ages

The Dental Board expects the following uniform, minimum standard of modalities to be taught and assessed for DT/OHT when practising dental therapy on persons of all ages:

  • extension of clinical restorative skills to the provision of simple direct tooth restoration in the adult patient;
  • development of clinical judgment skills in identifying those teeth which require simpledirect restoration and those which must be referred for more complex care;
  • development of knowledge in management of patients with fixed or removable oral prostheses;
  • development of knowledge in the identification and the preventive management of root caries;
  • management of medically compromised patients;
  • recognition and identification of oral pathological conditions in the clinical situation;
  • recognition of polypharmacy in the adult population; and
  • knowledge and practical skills relating to administration of local anaesthetic to adult patients.


The Dental Board has agreed to the following terminology which assists in determining what constitutes a simple direct tooth restoration as opposed to one which requires the attention of a dentist:

  • includes no more than four surfaces;
  • does not include cusps or require pins or complex retentive features;
  • does not involve the pulp when assessed radiographically;
  • is one that is easily accessed and simple to isolate at the gingival margin;
  • is not placed in an endodontically treated tooth; and
  • where the tooth requiring simple restoration is immediately adjacent to a dental prosthesis(fixed or removable) consideration must be given to the complexity of the interface between the restoration and the adjacent fixed or removable prosthesis and referral made when necessary.