Welcome to the Department of Community Dentistry
What is Community Dentistry?
Community Dentistry is a branch of dentistry which focuses on the science and art of preventing oral disease, promoting oral health and improving the quality of life through the organized efforts of society.
It is this form of dental practice which serves the community as a patient rather than the individual and is concerned with the dental health education of the public. It is based on applied dental research with the administration of group dental care programs as well as the prevention and control of dental diseases on a community basis.
The department is actively involved in the training of dental and oral hygiene students, both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. One of the core pillars in community dentistry is community engagement and outreach projects. These outreach programs take students out of the dental school and expose them to communities which they may not be aware of. Students visit schools, special schools, crèches and clinics to provide oral hygiene education, nutritional information and dental services via mobile dental clinics.
These visits allow students to engage with the communities and identify their needs through practical and relevant research projects, offer disadvantaged communities oral health services, something many of them cannot afford and improve students’ clinical skills.
In addition, the department is the coordinator of the Phelophepa train for the University of Pretoria dental students. This program allows dental and hygiene students the opportunity to serve rural communities throughout South Africa by offering oral hygienic education and through primary oral health services.
I hope you find this website useful and informative and if you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to contact us.
Prof A Bhayat
Head of the Department