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

58,881 enrolled on this course

A pair of wind-up toy teeth and a dental inspection mirror
  • Duration

    6 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

How important is a smile? Ever wondered what all those letters and numbers a dentist calls out during your check-up mean? How are broken teeth fixed, or how dentures are made? Join Dr 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.

Starting with the public perception of dentistry, to the sometimes gruesome history of the profession, we will explore the context of dentistry today. Through interactive exercises we will demystify the various roles and activities within a dental practice, and explore in detail how common dental diseases and problems are treated by talking to the experts and watching them work. We will investigate how false teeth and dental crowns are made, and take a glimpse into the future by looking at the latest technology of 3D printed teeth.

This course is for everyone. Whether you are an aspiring dentist, preparing for a dental school interview, or want to learn about the interesting multidisciplinary world of looking after smiles, join us for an entertaining and insightful exploration of your mouth and the people who care for it.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds Discover 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 seconds I’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 seconds We’ll even do some experiments in our kitchens.

Skip to 0 minutes and 52 seconds Have 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 seconds We’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 seconds By 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 seconds If 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?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

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?

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

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

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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