Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology

At the postgraduate level, the Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology course is expanded with emphasis on the clinical recognition of disease and the formulation of an appropriate differential diagnosis. For students specialising in the fields of Oral Medicine and Periodontics and Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery, the histopathological aspects of these disease processes are also included. 

Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology is a specialisation of dentistry in its own right. Registrars are required to rotate through the Department of Anatomical Pathology for a minimum of two years followed by an additional three years in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. The exit examination is that of the College of Pathologists as part of The Colleges of Medicine Souh Africa, culminating in a fellowship qualification.

The course outline in the subject of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology specifically includes developmental abnormalities, dental hard tissue pathology, inflammation and infectious disease with particular focus on HIV/AIDS related pathology, oral cancer and the prevention thereof, immune-mediated disease, reactive and pigmented lesions, odontogenic cysts and tumours, salivary gland pathology, bone and soft tissue pathology as well as forensic odontology.

  • General Pathology (APA 808): A semester course for postgraduate students in General Pathology.
  • Maxillofacial Pathology (MPG 800):  A semester course in Oral Pathology for registrars in Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery.
  • Maxillofacial Pathology (MPG 801):  A semester course in Oral Pathology for registrars in Orthodontics.
  • Maxillofacial Pathology (MPG 803):  A semester course in Oral Pathology for registrars in Periodontics.
  • Maxillofacial Pathology (MPG 804):  A semester course in Oral Pathology for registrars in Prosthodontics.
  • TPM 801: A semester course in Oral Pathology for registrars in Community Dentistry.
  • Specialisation in Oral Pathology (MChD): A five year full-time course, the first two years of which are spent in the Department of Anatomical Pathology with the last three being spent in the Department of Oral Pathology and Oral Biology.  Registrar training posts are advertised in the national press when available.
  • PhD (Oral Pathology)


Oral Biology

Oral Biology at the postgraduate level expands the foundational undergraduate knowledge with the most recent advancements in the field by means of clinically relevant articles. This course is streamlined to align with the respective courses depending on their requirements.

  • Oral Biology (MDB 710): A semester course, compulsory for the postgraduate diploma in various disciplines of Dentistry (PGDipDent)
  • Oral Biology (MDB 800): A semester course which is a compulsory basic subject for the different MChD degrees in Dentistry
  • MSc Dentistry (Oral Biology): a Master’s degree in Oral Biology
  • PhD (Oral Biology)


Diagnostic Imaging

Diagnostic Imaging at the postgraduate level expands on the principles of dental radiography and dental radiographic techniques as well as a more in depth knowledge on the analysis and interpretation of pathological conditions affecting the head and neck from an Oral Radiology perspective.   Further analysis of cone bean computed tomography (CBCT) is also included.

  • PGDipDent (RAD): Postgraduate diploma in Dentistry in Maxillofacial and Oral Radiology
  • MSc Dentistry (Maxillofacial and Oral Radiology): a Master’s degree in Maxillofacial and Oral Radiology
  • PhD (Maxillofacial and Oral Radiology)


Forensic Odontology

  • PGDipDent in Forensic Odontology (FOT 700):  a two year postgraduate diploma in Forensic Odontology
  • MSc(Odont) in Forensic Odontology: a Master’s degree in Forensic Odontology
  • PhD (Forensic Odontology)

The minimum time in which the PGDipDent in Forensic Odontology course can be completed is two years. The student will be required to complete and pass Oral Biology (MDB 710) before commencement of the Forensic course. The course consists of five modules: Introduction to Forensic Odontology, Basis of Human Identification, Age, Race and Gender Determination, Bite marks, and Child abuse. Each student will be required to spend at least one week (date to be arranged) undergoing practical training in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology.


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