The future of education and training in dental technology: designing a dental curriculum that facilitates teamwork across the oral health professions

Br Dent J. 2010 Mar 13;208(5):227-30. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2010.208.


Teamwork is essential for the provision of contemporary, high quality oral health care. Teamwork skills need to be taught and learnt and therefore ought to be one of the core competencies in all dental education programmes: dentistry, oral health therapy, dental technology and dental assisting. Currently, lack of opportunities for collaborative learning and practice within educational establishments, and in the practising professions, hamper the development of effective teamwork. For students across oral health care, learning 'together' requires positive action for teamwork skills to be developed. Interprofessional curricula need to be formally developed, based on evidence from the wider education literature that demonstrates how to maximise the engagements needed for teamwork in practice. Rigorous study of interprofessional education within dentistry and oral health is in its infancy. Anecdotal evidence indicates that dental technology students who experience an interprofessional curriculum are better prepared for collaborative practice. Formalised interprofessional education is posited as an effective strategy to improve interactions among oral health professionals leading to improved patient care. This paper reviews the extant literature and describes the approach currently being trialled at Griffith University.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Curriculum* / trends
  • Dental Technicians / education*
  • Dentists
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Prosthodontics / education
  • Queensland
  • Technology, Dental / education*
  • Technology, Dental / trends