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Study oral health therapy qld

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

The COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory to be eligible to attend a WIL placement for this course. Students will be required to provide evidence of having completed a COVID-19 vaccination schedule by the closing date prior to a WIL placement. The vaccine received must be a vaccine approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of Australia.

The COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory to be eligible to attend a WIL placement for this course. Students will be required to provide evidence of having completed a COVID-19 vaccination schedule by the closing date prior to a WIL placement. The vaccine received must be a vaccine approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of Australia.

Dental Board of Australia Requirements

Student health care workers who will be performing exposure prone procedures (EPP) must be tested for blood-borne viruses (BBV) in accordance with the Dental Board of Australia’s Guidelines for Registered health practitioners and students in relation to blood-borne viruses (6 July 2020). These guidelines require students to be aware of their BBV status and undertake testing at or before entry to the course.

Students who are successfully admitted to the course will be emailed explaining the national guidelines, their responsibilities as healthcare workers, the mandatory BBV screening and steps to complete their EPP Student Declaration.

Entry Requirements

English (Units 3 & 4, C) or equivalent; one of Biology, Chemistry or Physics (Units 3 & 4, C) or equivalent

English Language Proficiency Requirements

If you were not born in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa or United States of America, you are required to meet the English Language Proficiency requirements set by the University.

Applicants are required to provide evidence of completion with the last 5 years of:

  • A secondary qualification (Year 11 and 12, or equivalent), or
  • Bachelor level qualification study for a period of at least 2 years fulltime with a minimum overall GPA 4.0

completed within Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, South Africa, Ireland, or United States of America, which will meet the English proficiency.

If you do not satisfy any of the above, you will need to undertake an English language proficiency test and achieve the following scores:

  • An International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic) overall band score of at least 7.0 with a minimum 7.0 in each subset; or
  • An Occupational English Test with Grades A or B only in each of the four components.

English test results remain valid for no more than two years between final examination date and the date of commencement of study, and must appear on a single result certificate.

International Students should visit for further information.

Each student will be assessed individually.

Security Requirements

Students must comply with and meet the Inherent Requirements for the Bachelor of Oral Health (BOH) course.

Students are required to provide evidence to complete the following:

1. Pre-clinical health and training requirements such as the Blue Card, a National Police Check, blood-borne disease status, vaccinations and immunisations as specified by BOH staff. 

2. Provide evidence of individual health and safety compliance for placement providers, including compliance with ‘Queensland Health’s pre-employment requirements’.
Students will also be required to comply with Queensland Health’s vaccination, prescreening and immunization requirements for undertaking clinical placements in Queensland. 

3. Comply with the requirements for student registration with the Dental Board of Australia via the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)

4. Students are required to attend clinical placements as directed by academic staff. 

Inability to meet any of the following requirements listed above will result in students being ineligible to enrol or continue in this course.

Health Requirements

Students must comply with and meet the Inherent Requirements for the Bachelor of Oral Health course.

Assumed Knowledge

Students must comply with and meet the Inherent Requirements for the Bachelor of Oral Health course.

English, Science, Mathematics or equivalent.

The future of dentistry is here

The $150 million purpose-built Griffith Health Centre on our Gold Coast campus provides world-class facilities including a 96-chair dental clinic, commercial dental and clinical skills laboratories, high-level IT facilities, and research facilities.

Studying at Griffith, you’ll acquire the knowledge that underpins dental practice and get essential practical experience. You’ll graduate with superior skills and confidence, gained from working closely with qualified oral health professionals in our modern dental clinic and commercial laboratory.

Dental Technology and Dental Prosthetics – more dental degrees leading to a great future

Griffith’s innovative Bachelor of Dental Technology was the first new dental degree developed in Australia in over 60 years.

Dental technicians know how to combine their art and science skills to create custom-made dental devices such as dentures, crowns and bridges, and orthodontic appliances to enable people to use their teeth properly. As an important member of a larger team, you’ll learn how to work collaboratively with dentists and specialists.

Year 12 or equivalent English and Biological Science. Minimum entry requirement for international students is rank 96/OP3.

Students should note that completion of all or part of this program does not permit direct entry into the Bachelor of Dental Science.

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Dental Board of Australia policy prevents oral health therapists, dental hygienists and dental therapists carrying blood-borne viruses from undertaking invasive procedures, the definition of which includes most aspects of clinical dentistry. Students are required to provide current status information with respect to blood-borne transmissible viruses (Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV) and a schedule of immunisations and tuberculosis (TB) screening.

Students are required to have a current Blue Card (Working with Children Check) before commencing clinical work and must complete a nationally accredited First Aid certificate by first semester census date in year 1 and maintain qualification in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) in years 2 and 3.

University Course Information

What is the Bachelor of Oral Health?

The Bachelor of Oral Health course will provide training at university level in oral-health promotion, dental hygiene and dental therapy. It will equip students with the required skills, knowledge and experience to deliver oral-health promotion, dental hygiene and dental therapy services to patients throughout Australia.


Bachelor of Oral Health Degree (3 years full time)

Phone: (08) 8313 7335



Bachelor of Science (Oral Health Therapy) (3 years Full Time) Bentley Campus

Phone: (08) 9266 1000



Bachelor of Oral Health (3 years Full Time) Rockhampton Campus

Student Admission team a call on: Telephone: 13 CQUni (13 27 86) 




Bachelor of Oral Health (3 years Full Time) Parkville Campus

Within Australia: 13MELB (136352) Outside Australia: +61 3 9035 5511



Bachelor of Oral Health Science 

Phone: 03 5444 7543  /  Email: [email protected]




Bachelor of Oral Health Science

Dr Janet Wallace, Program Convenor email: [email protected]

Phone: 02 4349 4564




Bachelor of Oral Health (Therapy and Hygiene)

Jessica Daley, Course Administration Officer email: [email protected]

Phone: 1800 334 733 (within Australia) or +61 2 6338 6077 (International)




Bachelor of Oral Health

Dr Kimberly Mathieu Coulton, Academic Coordinator & Head of Program

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 02 9891 4214


Why study Dental Hygiene? 
Dental hygienists are educated in all aspects of dental hygiene practice through coursework and supervised clinical practice in an inter-professional dental clinic. Dental hygiene students will be learning and working alongside, dentists, dental technologists, dental prosthetists and dental specialists developing skills in communication and collaboration for patient management. Students will be provided with specific education and skills in public health and health promotion to provide appropriate preventive oral health education to individuals and communities.


 Bachelor of Dental Hygiene

 Ms Urvashnee Govender, Program Director

 Email: [email protected]

 Phone: 07 5678 0228 




 Advanced Diploma in Dental Hygiene

 Josh Galpin Email: [email protected]

 Phone: 1800 822 661


A total of 252 audits were completed across the nine facilities and included 111 audits at facilities with the integrated oral health program and 141 audits at facilities without the integrated oral health program. Audits were included in the final data if the resident had been living at the facility for more than a month to allow time to establish an oral health plan. Not all beds were occupied at the time of the audit. Characteristics of all residents audited is outlined in Table 1.

Table 1 Characteristics of residents audited

Full size table

Audit results showed that facilities engaged with the integrated oral health program were more likely to be implementing a satisfactory oral health plan (89.2%) compared with facilities without the integrated program (75.2%). A chi-square test revealed that this relationship was statistically significant, χ2 (1) = 8.037, p = 0.005 φ = 0.179. Results also show a statistically significant relationship with regularly replacing toothbrushes in facilities engaged with the integrated oral health program (85.6%) compared with facilities without the integrated program (68.8%) and recording last dental visit. There was no statistically significant relationship observed regarding access to a toothbrush and having a nominated Dentist recorded. There were also no statistically significant relationships observed managing residents’ dentures. Results of the audits are outlined in Table 2.

Table 2 Results of the oral health audit at the facilities with and without access to the integrated oral health model

Full size table

A total of 46 residents met the inclusion criteria to participate in a GOHAI survey. Of those 46 residents, 19 were not present at the time of the field work, or did not wish to participate in the research. Twenty-seven GOHAI surveys were completed with eligible residents. Out of the 27 participants, 7 were from a RACF with the integrated oral health program and 20 were residents from a RACF without access to the integrated oral health program. Participant characteristics of each group are shown in Table 3. The reason for the size discrepancies between the groups is due to the differences between the numbers of residents who met inclusion criteria.

Table 3 Demographics and GOHAI results of residents from facilities with and without access to the integrated oral health model

Full size table

The mean GOHAI score of participants from facilities with the integrated oral health program was 50.6 ± 5.1 (median = 51; Q1 = 49; Q3 = 54.5) and participants from facilities without the integrated oral health program was 51 ± 5 (median = 52; Q1 = 47.75; Q3 = 54.25). A total of 40% of residents from RACFs without the integrated oral health program, and a total of 43% of residents from RACFs with the integrated oral health program had a score lower than 50 indicating poor oral health quality of life.

One FGD and eight IDI’s were completed with staff and managers involved in coordinating oral health portfolios at each of the facilities. Participants included 3 registered nurses (RN) and two enrolled nurse (EN) from facilities with the integrated program and 5 RNs and 3 ENs from facilities without the program. Qualitative analysis of the discussions revealed several barriers and enablers influencing the performance of managing oral health in facilities with and without access to the integrated oral health program. A summary of this is outlined in Table 4. Key themes included importance placed on oral health; access to specialist in oral health; accessing external oral health service; implications for residents with high care needs, and education and training in oral health at the facility.

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Table 4 Barriers and enablers to oral health care at facilities with and without access to the integrated oral health model

Full size table

Facilities without the integrated oral health program

Importance placed on oral health

For facilities without the integrated oral health program, respondents advised that in general, limited importance was placed on oral health. Respondents acknowledged that staff usually have very broad roles and therefore other priorities often took precedence.

It is not something we go looking for. The first thing that comes out of my mouth when I start shift is ‘Did you have any problems today? Pressure ulcer? Had a fall?’ The focus for oral health is poor. FGD Facility 1

Access to oral health specialist

A few of the respondents described their facility oral health program to be ad-hoc. It was believed that underlying the reason for a more ad-hoc approach to oral health was the reliance on non-specialists to drive the oral health program with many other competing demands. Concern was also noted in staff confidence in meeting the oral health needs of residents particularly those with high care needs; as one respondent explained.

Like I said we are not specifically oral health therapists. So what we consider an issue, may not be a problem. Or something we overlook might be something that does need something. IDI Facility 3

As a result, all respondents agreed that management of oral health needs tended to be more reactionary rather than preventative, with referral for intervention typically initiated due to observed pain, issues with eating, denture problems, or other symptoms related to residents’ mouths. However, accessing external oral health services to manage these issues was also often met with many challenges.

Accessing oral health service

If it was considered an emergency, most respondents thought that access to an external oral health review was typically fast. However, for any other oral health complaint, key difficulties noted included arranging oral health appointments due to need for numerous sign offs such as medical and other consents; dealing with waiting lists; and often poor communication with external oral health provider following review. In addition to this, attendance at oral health facilities relies on several additional resources from the aged care facility which incur extra costs including a staff member to attend the appointment and specialist transport such as an ambulance. For some residents with significant cognitive and mobility issues, oral health services were not always well set up to accommodate for their needs.

Unfortunately, it is difficult for anybody who is not mobile to get over there (to access the oral health facility). If you have got someone who is bed bound, or even anyone who requires a lift or assistance with transfers to any chair. Transferring to the Dentist chair would be impossible. That is a barrier. IDI Facility 4

Implications for residents with high care needs

It was felt that residents with high care needs in general were the most vulnerable to the difficulties in managing oral health in these facilities. Respondents noted that these residents also tended to have additional medical complications and other complex oral care issues such as difficulties accessing their mouths and other. The concern for these residents is highlighted by the following comment:

It impacts worse on the ones that cannot speak for themselves, it really impacts on them because they can’t say I have a sore tooth. FGD Facility 5

Oral health facilitators

Despite some of the difficulties, respondents observed some key attributes which assisted in delivering an oral health program. Local access to a supportive and engaged oral health service seemed to facilitate more productive outcomes for oral health. In one case a private oral health service was on the same campus as the aged care facility. This was particularly helpful for minimising issues with transporting residents. Availability of supportive significant others also assisted with transporting issues and other difficulties noted with attending appointments. Having a well-established oral health program with a stable staff member in charge of the oral health portfolio facility was also observed as beneficial. Regular reviews also assisted with raising the profile of oral health in the facility and potentially identifying problems early.

I think the thing that works well is when we put the oral reviews with the third monthly care plan reviews… that is done by the enrolled nurse and if there is a problem, it will trigger… well the registered nurse needs to sign off, for the registered nurse to look in their months and then we can kind off act on it in the best way we can. FGD Facility 1

Overall, respondents advised that access to education about management of oral health was key to improving oral health of the residents. For most, it was agreed that hands-on training was likely to be more effective than online. Particularly as many voiced that one of the biggest challenges was managing residents where it was difficult to access their mouths. Respondents agreed that being shown the correct technique in this case would assist with management of these residents. Respondents advised that access to an oral health specialist for support and training would assist with this.

Facilities with the integrated oral health program

Importance placed on oral health

Respondents from facilities with the integrated oral health model in place were pleased with the improved performance of managing oral health.

Look I just think the whole thing is beneficial. It is positive for the client, it is positive for the nursing staff. IDI Facility 7

Many suggested that the integrated model was more successful because it provided access to expert advice on the spot from the OHT on developing care plans and managing the oral health needs of the residents.

it is good, because everyone then gets care and everyone is checked, um you know, a specialised sort of check rather than us trying to do what we can do. IDI Facility 8

Respondents advised that the model also meant a more formal and effective oral health program was established. With a more recognised oral health program, respondents believed that visibility of oral health as a priority in the facility became more apparent. This was particularly attributed to the visibility of the visiting OHTs to conduct the reviews and develop the care plans.

Yes, I think it actually triggered again the importance of oral health like…. Having the girls come out here, and focused just on oral health. IDI Facility 6

Further to this, participants also recognised that the new program had meant a more preventative approach to oral health was being implemented. Due to this most thought that that oral health issues were being attended to more promptly. This is demonstrated in the following comment.

They (the OHT) can see problems that may happen in the future, like a sign of an ulcer or a sign of something. They are trained to counteract the problem or apply some preventative measure. IDI Facility 7

Access to oral health specialist

The access to an oral health specialist such as the OHT to support the model was also seen as very advantageous due to their skills and specific focus in oral health. It was noted that although facility staff did try to do the best, they recognised that access to specialist skills was a great benefit particularly as more effective focus could be placed on oral health in light of competing demands within the facility. This is highlighted in the following comment.

The biggest issues would probably be, the people who were responsible to check, are not really trained as a, you know an oral technicians… Also the time, the time factor is a major difference, we work first as nurses and then we try to fit in the time to do that as well and that depends on the staffing levels. We could have a day that might be allowed for this and then someone calls in sick and then that day would be taken because we would be needed on the floor. IDI Facility 8

In addition to this, access to an OHT had important benefits to working with residents with high care needs including dementia and those requiring additional strategies and advice to managing their oral care needs.

I think the best thing has been the individualised plans. Like a couple of our residents have got quite advanced dementia and one in particular still has her own teeth. So it was really, really difficult to maintain her oral hygiene. But now they just use, not sure what it is, but something special that is more or less like an antibacterial thing. So, we use that for her rather than trying to get a toothbrush and toothpaste into her mouth which just distresses her, distresses the staff because it is distressing her. So I think that is working well. IDI Facility 6

Many also felt that previously there was not much confidence in how oral health was being attended to. Access to an OHT assisted in improving confidence in staff practice and ability to manage any challenging oral health concerns that were observed.

I think we flew by the seat of our pants as far as oral health assessments go and it was more or less just going through just the piece of paper, the assessment, the oral health assessment, doing what it said, not really knowing what you were looking for. IDI Facility 6

The program design also meant that access to incidental hands-on training became more frequent. That is, many respondents commented that the practical observations of the OHT attending to residents was a great training opportunity.

The oral health therapist was great, we went through everyone’s teeth and it was good because I got to go in there to see the whole business… Yeah, so it was good… And we went through everyone thoroughly. Like their whole health perspective and what could make their oral health worse, yep, I was able to pass that on to others… It was great for me because it was something new. IDI Facility 7

Accessing oral health service

Along with improved awareness of oral health needs and support for managing residents, the model also meant several improvements such as facilitation of communication between the aged care facility and the external oral health service. Due to this improvement in communication, many felt that accessing and organising appointments with the oral health service became more streamlined. Residents were being attended to in a preventative model and, if there were any concerns, it was easy to facilitate a review with the OHT. The access to a tele-dentistry appointment also meant improved communication of treatment and intervention needs with the Dentist, as staff were often present and able to get direct advice from the Dentist; as one respondent advised.

The tele-dentistry appointment is really good. If (the OHT) meets a problems which needs further suggestion, you know advice, it is easy to ask the Dentist on the spot. And as the representative from here I listen. Therefore, there is less time needed to communicate between staff. You are just there… You can’t do that if you have got to travel to the dental clinic… hopping in the car or arranging a taxi for transporting. It is time consuming and it actually disrupts the residents so this way is great. IDI Facility 8

Implications for residents with high care needs

The benefits for having access to tele-dentistry had enormous impact on minimising need to attend an oral health service. There was no travel or waiting room time required for residents or aged care facility staff member, and no cost for transportation and staffing requirements.

Yeah because (travel to the oral health service) it is a cost. But if you can use this system (integrated oral health model) that is going to make it easier, and the Dentist is there, like he is visually with you. It is amazing really. IDI Facility 7

This was particularly important for residents with high care needs including dementia.

The other good thing about it is we don’t really have to arrange transport…You save time from staffing point of view, it saves, um behavioural problems from a resident point of view… And well this (the aged care facility) is a familiar place. They just go down stairs with familiar people like us… Um what else, it is comfort thing, for everyone involved really. IDI Facility 8

Potential barriers observed

Although mostly positive feedback was reported, there were a few issues that were raised that may pose an issue to implementing the integrated model. This included not enough time for dedicated oral health staff within the aged care facilities to focus on management of the program; consideration that some facilities may not be equipped to take on telehealth technology; access to telehealth technology not in a well-planned and accessible space for residents; and delays in procurement of recommended oral health equipment such as newly recommended toothpaste or changes to toothbrushes. It was also advised that the visiting OHT needed to be skilled in working with residents with dementia and other high care needs.

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