Online course in Health & Psychology

Discover Dentistry

An entertaining and illuminating course for everyone to explore the impact dentistry has on our lives.

  • Duration 6 weeks
  • Weekly study 3 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $54 Find out more

Why join the course?

Ever wondered what all those letters and numbers a dentist calls out during your check-up mean? Or how broken teeth are fixed? Join Professor Christopher Stokes from the School of Clinical Dentistry at The University of Sheffield on a learning journey to explore the dental profession and the impact dentistry has on all our lives.

Throughout this course you’ll hear from, and interact with, experts from all corners of the dental professions to discover dentistry.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsDiscover Dentistry from The University of Sheffield is a unique and exciting opportunity to learn about something we all have experience of, but often know little about - our mouth and our teeth. Modern dentistry is a fascinating mix of the scientific and the artistic, but as we'll learn, things started with something as simple as a stick for a toothbrush.

Skip to 0 minutes and 32 secondsI'm Chris Stokes, and on this course, we'll explore dentistry from the past and look into the future. You'll see dentistry in practise, talk to world-leading experts and work together to build a worldwide perspective on oral healthcare.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 secondsWe'll even do some experiments in our kitchens.

Skip to 0 minutes and 52 secondsHave you ever wondered what the numbers mean that a dentist calls out during your dental check up? We'll slow down the process and examine it step-by-step. We'll also uncover what dentures have got to do with the Battle of Waterloo, how you can brush like a pro, and what makes it more likely that you're going to have bad teeth.

Skip to 1 minute and 12 secondsWe'll explore and dispel some common myths and urban legends, and we'll discuss the perception of dentists in our society. Is it just me, or do dentists in the movies always seem to be the baddies?

Skip to 1 minute and 26 secondsBy the end of this course, you'll understand the impact dentistry has on health and be able to relate it to your own real life experiences. You will know the reasons for the different dental specialties, and have a real sense of the ethical issues surrounding dental treatment. You'll also be able to discuss and debate these issues with your fellow learners and experts throughout the course.

Skip to 1 minute and 51 secondsIf you are considering studying dentistry, this course will be a great head start and an introduction to the basics. Or if you just want to learn more about this often entertaining and frequently mysterious subject, join us, and discover dentistry.

What topics will you cover?

  • The public perception of dentistry in modern societies.
  • Definition of dental team roles, including the dentist, nurse, hygienist/therapist, dental technician and practice manager.
  • Key aspects of tooth anatomy, morphology, development and disease.
  • How to carry out dental charting and the systems used in different countries.
  • Dental specialisms, including dental pathology and radiography, paediatric dentistry, endodontics, periodontics and oral surgery.
  • The types and properties of dental materials.
  • Design and manufacture of dental restorations and prostheses and how they have changed over time.
  • Dental public health and the morals and ethics of dental treatment.
  • Exploring the latest research in dentistry at The University of Sheffield.

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available now
    This course started 15 Jul 2019

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Explore the history of dental treatment.
  • Identify the roles within the Dental Team and compare (or apply) the UK model to their own experience.
  • Identify the key features of tooth morphology and dental restorations and how they are recorded in dental records.
  • Compare the roles of dental specialists, including their training and responsibilities.
  • Apply knowledge of tooth morphology and dental materials to the process of making dental prostheses.
  • Evaluate the evidence for or against a dental public health intervention.
  • Reflect on learning gained throughout the course, including current areas of research, to develop their own research priority, with justification.

Who is the course for?

This is an introductory course and anyone can enjoy it without expertise or prior knowledge of the subject. A basic knowledge of science will be helpful. Due to the highly visual nature of dentistry, a small number of exercises in the course, unfortunately, won’t be accessible to learners with visual impairment.

Who will you learn with?

Christopher Stokes

Christopher Stokes

Professor of Digital Learning and Dental Education in the School of Clinical Dentistry and Cross-Cutting Director of Digital Learning at the University of Sheffield

Who developed the course?

The University of Sheffield is one of the world’s top 100 universities with a reputation for teaching and research excellence.

Join this course

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  • Access to this course for 8 weeks


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  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
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