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Adult scope dental therapy

Advanced training for oral health therapists
This course is for oral health therapists to broaden their current scope to include restorative treatment planning and procedures for adult patients.

Course overview

This course offers the oral health therapist or dual-trained dental hygienist/dental therapist the opportunity to broaden their scope to include restorative treatment planning and procedures for adult patients. The course has been revised to meet the needs of the working clinician and consists of face-to-face lectures, online learning and the opportunity for simulation practice with supervision of a registered dentist.

The course will provide the participants with the education and clinical skills required to meet the restorative treatment needs for the adult patient, taking into consideration their periodontal status. Additionally, the course will include advanced didactic content such as cone beam imaging, the Wand local anaesthetic delivery system for local anaesthesia and Oraqix periodontal gel. 

This evidence-based course consists of three modules:

  • oral health sciences and management of dental caries
  • considerations in management of the adult patient
  • restorative adult clinical practice.

Module information

The objectives include:

  • caries management and its application to include older adults and root caries
  • tooth wear and management of non-carious lesions
  • management of restorative patients with implants, fixed and removable prostheses
  • referral pathways for pathological entities (online)
  • critical appraisal skills to inform evidence-based practice
  • local anaesthetics in the oral health setting, including the Wand-delivery system and Oraqix.

The objectives include:

  • management of medically compromised patients
  • management of patients with orofacial pain
  • recognition of polypharmacy in the adult population
  • identification of TMJ dysfunction
  • impact of nutrition and hydration on oral health.

The objectives include:

  • professional obligations for OHTs providing restorations in adults related to the scope of practice
  • restorative treatment planning in the adult, with consideration of periodontal status
  • application of clinical restorative skills in the provision of simple direct restoration in the adult patient
  • simulation practice.

Important course information

Participants will be given the opportunity to practice their restorative skills and 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, which is available at the simulation premises.

All participants are required to follow the simulation practice protocol.

  • Protective eyewear
  • Protective footwear
  • Protective clothing
  • Infection control
  • Proof of current AHPRA registration as either an oral health therapist or dual trained dental hygienist/dental therapist.
  • Proof of graduation with either an undergraduate degree in oral health therapy or dental hygiene and dental therapy
  • Proof of recency or current practice/employment
  • Certificate of professional indemnity insurance
  • Please note – we can only accept candidates who have no restrictions on clinical practice.

Please refer to the information sheet for an overview of definitions of practice.

Please refer to the Dental Board of Australia website for additional information.

The Dental Board expects the following uniform, minimum standard of modalities to be taught and assessed for 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 simple direct 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 
  • 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
  • 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.

For more information

This course ran in 2017 and 2018. The course is not scheduled to occur in 2019. It is possible the course may run in 2020. If you are interested in the course and would like to be added to the waitlist please contact us by email at or telephone on 02 9351 8348.