The Diploma in Orthodontic Therapy course has been designed and is continuously evolving, in order to not only give Dental Care Professionals the training and experience required to become a registered Orthodontic Therapist, following the requirements laid down by the General Dental Council (GDC), but also to equip students with the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for 21st Century orthodontic practice.
The Learning Outcomes are grouped into four domains by the GDC.
These are integrated and support each other:
- Leadership and Management
By the end of the course, students should be able to:
- Define theoretical principles and apply these principles to the practice of orthodontics
- Describe those aspects of the biomedical sciences, oral physiology and craniofacial, oral and dental anatomy that are significant in the management of patients
- Apply critical appraisal techniques to published literature
- Select and manipulate appropriate dental biomaterials used by the orthodontic therapist
- Understand the principles of evidence-based orthodontics
- Apply anatomical and physiological principles to the field of orthodontics
- Have acquired appropriate orthodontic clinical skills
- Recognize and use orthodontic systems
- Understand and follow a prescribed treatment plan
- Satisfy medico-legal requirements
- Apply functional anatomy and physiology to clinical situations
- Communicate effectively both orally and in written form
- Work effectively as part of a team
- Problem solve
- Use Information Technology (IT) effectively
- Have effective numeracy skills
- Modular format, divided up into six overlapping modules.
- Core teaching is delivered at the start of the course using a blended learning approach, including both study sessions and face to face practical sessions. Study sessions are integrated alongside the student working in their own orthodontic training practice/centre. This allows time for students to assimilate what will be a large amount of new knowledge.
- Further teaching days will be spread out over the remainder of the course duration.
- Time has been allocated in this part of the course to cover subjects which students may feel require additional support, and to undertake “mock assessments” prior to the final examination.
- Workplace based training during the course will be supervised by the trainer(s). Trainers must be a specialist orthodontist in a specialist practice, hospital or community orthodontic department.
- Lectures and demonstrations will be presented, using the latest multimedia teaching techniques, to introduce students to the basic theory of orthodontics.
- Practical sessions using typodont models, in our fully equipped clinical skills laboratory at the Leamington Spa Orthodontic Centre, allow hands-on experience to be gained in appliance placement and adjustment.
- Observation days with the whole orthodontic team in clinical practice, following the whole patient journey.
- The theoretical aspects of subject matter will be delivered via a blend of lectures, small group seminars, tutorials, and case-based learning and cover the principal aspects of orthodontics both virtually and face to face. An emphasis will be placed on developing the clinical skills required in orthodontic treatment.
- The principles of record keeping will be covered including clinical, photographic and radiographic examination. The need for high quality records to be produced by therapists as part of a contribution to the overall excellence in treatment will be stressed. The important area of retention of the final result will be clearly addressed and training in placement of both fixed and removable retainers will be fully covered.
- At consultation sessions, students will be assessed clinically and advice given on the composition of consent letters, including guidance on the regulations.
- At the hands-on clinical teaching sessions, students will learn appliance placement techniques and observe and assist in clinical procedures. Experience will be gained on surgery set-up, equipment identification and overall orthodontic practice management.
- Summative assessments will take place at the end of each module.
The eLogbook is an electronic storage area for clinical activity reporting. The Clinical Practice module, Module 6, is monitored weekly via the eLogbook. Students are required to complete the recurring weekly activity pages as a record of all clinical activity, including reflection of their progress throughout each week, with a section which allows students to complete a detailed reflection on a specific activity which they have carried out or observed.
Students should also use the eLogbook for the uploading of clinical activity as advised by tutors, including clinical cases for an ongoing record of their clinical experience in practice, which will also form part of the final examination.
Assessment and Homework
Students will be set homework tasks periodically throughout the course. Some may be formative assessments, set to aid understanding and development of knowledge, skills, behaviours and abilities.
We hope you will find this course professionally and academically rewarding. Education is very much a two-way process and we welcome your views on all aspects of the course.