About UKZN Dentistry | University of KwaZulu-Natal
Dentistry offers two programmes within the scope of Dentistry, ie. Bachelor of Dental Therapy (3 years) and University Diploma in Oral Health (2 years). Due to expanded functions assigned to oral hygienists by the Professional Board of Dental Therapy and Oral Hygiene, it is envisioned that within the next year, the Diploma will be converted to a three year degree.
Dental Therapists can work independently within the public and private sectors, and can perform all functions within the scope of primary and secondary levels of prevention in Dentistry. They do extractions, fillings, scaling and polishing, dental radiography, and health education and promotion.
Oral Hygiene is a dynamic, patient-orientated profession where the hygienist is committed to meeting the health education and prevention needs of the community. They work within the private and public sectors, with emphasis on health education and promotion, and can now register as an independent practitioner. The focus is on evidence-based oral health promotion and prevention at a primary health care level within a multidisciplinary and inter-professional approach to improve health and oral health. They do scaling and polishing and dental radiography for all patients, with emphasis on patients with special needs. They also provide supervised, specialized preventive care to patients in orthodontics, periodontics, oral surgery, and other dental specialities.
We currently offer the following programmes and qualifications:
- Bachelor of Dental Therapy
- University Diploma of Oral Health
- Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Courses for Dentists, Dental Therapists, Oral Hygienists and Dental Assistants as per the requirements of the Health Professions Council of South Africa.
- Continuing Education courses for other health personnel e.g. nurses, caregivers in schools and institutions.
Both the Bachelor of Dental Therapy and the University Diploma of Oral Health have been fully accredited by the Health Professions Council of South Africa.