Programmes under the Department
Registered Dental Surgery Assistant (Direct)
Registered Dental Surgery Assistant (Post Basic)
The entry groups and their requirements for the programme are:
- Applicants seeking admission into the BSc. Dental Therapy programme must have Senior High School Certificate (SHSCE) aggregate 24 or better or West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) with aggregate 36 or better. Applicants shall be required to have credit passes in three core subjects, namely: English Language, Mathematics and Integrated Science and three elective subjects namely: Chemistry, Biology, Elective Mathematics or Physics.
- Community Oral Health Officers (COHOs) will receive exemptions from levels 100 and 200 courses and will be eligible for admission to level 300. Registered Dental Surgery Assistants (RDSA) will also receive exemptions from the level 100 courses and be eligible for admission to level 200.
- Medical Assistant and General Nursing Diploma, as well as Bachelor degree holders in life sciences (Biochemistry, Biological sciences, Sports and Exercise Medicine, Psychology), will be considered for admission to level 200 of the programme.
- Mature applicants must be at least 25years at the time of admission and must possess either five credits as GCE O-Level including English language and Mathematics or WASSCE/SSCE with credits in three core subjects (English, Mathematics and Integrated science) plus three elective subjects (Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics or Physics).
- Foreign students may be considered for admission if they hold qualification equivalent to those stated above, proved they are proficient in English, Equivalent qualifications include; A-levels, High School Diplomas.
After completion of the prescribed courses, graduates shall be required to complete one year of internship in an approved facility
Oral health means more than good teeth; it is integral to general health and essential for wellbeing. It implies being free of chronic oro-facial pain, oral and pharyngeal (throat) cancer, birth defects such as cleft lip and palate, and other diseases, injuries and disorders that affect the oral, dental and craniofacial tissues collectively known as the craniofacial complex (WHO). Oral health care thus involves the prevention and management of dental caries and periodontal diseases, oral cancers, birth defects such as cleft of the lip and palate and injuries/fractures involving the craniofacial complex, among others. These activities take the form of both community-based outreach or preventive programs and clinic-based care.
Again the interrelationship between oral and general health has been proven over the years by scientific evidence. Severe periodontal disease, for example, is associated with diabetes2. Many general disease conditions also have oral manifestations that increase the risk of oral disease which, in turn, is a risk factor for a number of general health conditions.
This wider meaning of oral health does therefore bring to the fore the need to broaden the base of oral healthcare providers since the current numbers and distribution of dentist is not adequate to cover the oral health needs of the population in both the rural and urban areas. It is in view of this that the introduction of the Dental Therapist training programme has become important.
The Primary Health care (PHC) policy has brought the focus on making health services more accessible to the population. Oral Health services therefore should be equitably distributed to help prevent and treat oral conditions.
The strategy of achieving this is to train a cadre of oral health professionals who will function at the sub-district, district and at the regional levels to provide both preventive and curative services. This health personnel with the requisite skills in oral health and oral hygiene services will no doubt fill this vacuum and help expand the delivery of oral health services in the communities.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVE
The programme is intended to produce a competent Dental Therapist who is a community-based and, prevention oriented, oral health worker, trained to provide prescribed level of care geared towards the relief of pain and then referral to the appropriate personnel for comprehensive treatment, as needed.
He/she is a member of a team of oral healthcare providers at the sub-district, district or regional level with responsibility for planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating Oral Health Programs. The Dental Therapist shall basic oral health services to rural and deprived populations.
The philosophy of the programme is congruent with the values and principles from which health service policies are derived. It is based on the recognition that many individuals with dental problems often do not appreciate the need for early detection and continuous expert care. In the situation that individuals need care, the facilities are either not available or when available, lack the personnel to man them.
The rights of individuals to quality health care accessible at the time of need is recognized and to meet this need the Dental Therapist comes in as the professional to provide the first level of care thereby relieving the dentist to attend to more complicated oral conditions.
The Dental Therapist training programme, therefore, aims at producing highly trained oral health personnel who has the competence to identify the needs of the patient, make informed decisions and act appropriately within his/her professional domain. He/she would also be able to collaborate with or carry out instructions from other appropriate health professionals to plan, implement and evaluate the specialized care.
PRACTICAL TRAINING CONTENT
Practical training shall take place when students are in school and also during the vacation period. The practical periods shall include observation of certain procedures and actual carrying out of procedures enshrined in the job description of a Dental Therapist.
End of semester examinations of at least 2 hours duration is required for all courses. The end of semester examination is weighted 70% of the total marks and continuous assessment is weighted 30%. The examinations and continuous assessments may take the form of written examinations, essays, multiple-choice questions, practicals, viva voce, seminar presentations, and project work.
Assessment/Examination in all courses shall be credited by marks and graded as follows:
|LETTER GRADE||SCORE RANGE (%)||GRADE POINT||DESCRIPTION|
|I||0.00||0.00||INCOMPLETE (ABSENT WITH REASON)|
|DISTINCTION||3.60 – 4.00|
|CREDIT||3.00 – 3.59|
|AVERAGE||2.50 – 2.99|
|PASS||1.50 – 2.49|
The minimum mark to obtain a pass in a course shall be 50%.
REQUIREMENT FOR GRADUATION
A student shall graduate with a BSc. Dental Therapy degree upon successfully completing all prescribed courses including conducting, presentation, acceptance and defense of the project work (viva voce), and clearance from the Faculty, Finance, Stores and Supply, Library and ICT departments.
The Dental Therapist will function at the sub-district, district and at the regional levels to provide both preventive and curative services both in government, CHAG and private dental facilities.
The Dental Therapist properly assesses and manages certain specific oral health problems, applies appropriate procedures in oral health care, promotes oral hygiene in communities, documents all oral health problems, observations, and findings taking into account social and legal implications for his/her actions. He/she will be required to teach and conduct research.
Activities at the Community and/or School levels include:
- Oral Health Education and Promotion
- Group brushing and flossing
- Topical Fluoride application
- Placement of pits and fissure sealants
- Planning health education curriculum
- Screening and treatment in the community and in the school (outreach programs) or referral to the clinic for treatment
- Community and/or School Water Fluoridation
Clinical Responsibilities include
- Patient evaluation
- Giving Oral Hygiene Instructions
- Conducting Oral Health Promotion Activities
- Placing pits and fissure sealants
- Topical fluoride application
- Extraction of mobile deciduous and permanent teeth
- Placing simple fillings (Class 1 amalgam and temporary fillings)
- Pulp treatment of deciduous teeth (direct and indirect pulp capping pulpotomy)
- A-traumatic Restorative Therapy (ART)
- Performing scaling and polishing
- Fitting preformed crowns on deciduous teeth
- Assisting the dental surgeon in performing oral procedures when necessary
- Conducting research
- Administrative and managerial responsibilities