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Unit Overview


This unit provides students with knowledge and understanding of managing patients with special needs, orofacial pain and mental health as they relate to dentistry.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) describe the different manifestations of orofacial pain; describe the pathophysiology of orofacial pain; describe the different evidence-based therapeutic options for orofacial pain with consideration of their potential advantages and disadvantages and (2) present psychiatric differential diagnosis of relevance to orofacial disease; define features of depression and risk factors for suicide; explain the basic use of antidepressants in the management of orofacial disease; describe structure of liaison services to psychiatry and explain the role of clinical psychologists in managing mental health; describe the dental care for gerontologic patients; describe the dental care for patients with psychiatric disease; describe the dental care for patients with physical/neurological/ intellectual disability; describe the dental care for medically compromised patients; perform appropriate restorative dentistry in patients with special needs; perform appropriate periodontal treatment in patients with special needs; perform appropriate endodontic treatment in patients with special needs; undertake appropriate patient management in the field of oral medicine; and perform minor oral surgery in patients with special needs.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) MCQ (orofacial pain written examination) and (2) SAQ [special needs dentistry (20 per cent) and mental health modules (20 per cent)]. Further information is available in the unit outline.

To pass this unit, a student must: (a) achieve an overall mark of 50 per cent or higher for the unit; and (b) achieve the requisite requirements(s) or a mark of 50 per cent or greater, whichever is higher and specified in the unit outline, for the MCQ (orofacial pain written examination) component.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Clinical Associate Professor Ramesh Balasubramaniam
Unit rules
DENT5301 Microbiology, Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine
and DENT5302 Research Design, Statistics and Dental Public Health
and DENT5303 Complex Oral Rehabilitation 1
and DENT5304 Child and Adolescent Comprehensive Oral Care 1 and Orthodontics
DENT5306 Introduction to Dental Practice, Maxillofacial Infections and Trauma.
DENT5307 Complex Oral Rehabilitation 2.
DENT5308 Child and Adolescent Comprehensive Oral Care 2 and Research
Approved quota: 56—domestic (50) and international (6). For school leavers—rural (3), Metropolitan Pathway (3), Indigenous (3), high academic achievement (5), international (3). For graduates—rural (2), Metropolitan Pathway (2), Indigenous (2), international (3), graduates (30).
Contact hours
Unit hours: 46 hours (includes lectures and practicals)
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.