University of Melbourne : Careers Guide 2012
HEALTH & WELLBEING Overall, Australians have better teeth now than ever before, but this doesn’t mean less work for dentists. For example, a greater awareness of dental care means that elderly people in the future will be likely to retain their teeth longer than ever before, so they’ll need more complex dental care for longer. According to the Australian Dental Association, dentists will be treating more older patients with complex medical conditions that will influence dental disease and dental treatment. Recognising and managing these conditions will become a more important part of dentistry. For younger people, dentists are more likely to be providing instruction to prevent the loss of teeth than to be carr ying out fillings, for example. But when fillings or other treatments are necessary, the technology available will provide more effective treatment with less pain for patients. As the demand for dental services increases, dentists are likely to need more dental assistants and hygienists to handle routine services, which will increase the staff in private practices (67% of Australian dentists are in private practice). This means that in addition to their technical skills, dentists will require a range of skills to manage their staff and their practices. The Australian Dental Association says employment opportunities for dentists are excellent, with a shortage especially in regional, rural and remote areas, and in government clinics. There is also a greatly increased demand for aesthetic services. Despite a greater awareness of dental care, job prospects in dentistry are excellent – and the role of the dentist is changing. bite bite Careers with Students Ibrahim Hussein and Casey Edgar in the new MOHTEC simulation lab. MAKE IT HAPPEN Doctor of Dental Surgery Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Biomedicine FIRST DEGREE GRADUATE STUDY OPTIONS The University of Melbourne is preparing tomorrow’s dental workers with high-level practical skills that simulate real-life experiences through two state-of-the-art facilities that opened in 2012. The Melbourne Oral Health Training and Education Centre (MOHTEC) has a 50-seat simulation laboratory integrated with computer- aided learning suites that include simulated patient dummies. For second-year student Casey Edgar, who is in the process of completing her Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree, the new laboratory and its facilities are proving to be stimulating learning tools. “ We’ve got all our own instruments and equipment – it represents what a normal dental practice is. It’s a realistic environment with instruments on one side and a spot for the dental assistant to sit on the other. It makes you feel comfortable with an actual dental setting,” she says. The new Melbourne Dental Clinic, which complements MOHTEC, gives students experience in patient contact in a private and commercial environment. The clinic features 50 dental chairs – 10 for general dentistry, four that are multi-purpose and 36 for specialist treatments. The specialist chairs are split between orthodontics, endodontics, periodontics and prosthodontics. In a pioneering concept, a number of suites at the clinic will be installed with advanced clinical microscopes featuring in-built video cameras, allowing complex dental procedures to be filmed and then viewed by students and staff for training and research purposes. For all the whizz-bang technology and equipment, however, arguably the most important feature of the clinic is that it provides students with exposure to direct patient contact in a private clinical environment.