University of Otago Faculty of Dentistry

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University of Otago
Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo
Motto Latin: Sapere aude
("Dare to be wise")
Established 1907
Location Dunedin, New Zealand

University of Otago Faculty of Dentistry is one of the faculties of the University of Otago.

Founded in 1907, the Faculty of Dentistry is the only Faculty and School of Dentistry in New Zealand. It forms an integral part of the Division of Health Sciences within the University of Otago in Dunedin. It offers courses in all branches of dentistry, dental hygiene, and clinical dental technology training programs.

In addition to the undergraduate dental program, Otago offers specialty training programs combined with the Doctor of Clinical Dentistry (DClinDent) degree, advanced training programs, and research degrees including Ph.D and DDSc. programs.

Graduate programs[edit]

The Faculty of Dentistry offers formal graduate programs leading to a Doctorate in Clinical Dentistry (DClinDent) in the following areas:


In "A History of Dentistry in New Zealand" Brooking, (1980) has the origins of the profession of dentistry amongst barbers, pharmacists, blacksmiths, doctors and a number of other trades with the result being that a visit to the "dentist" was usually a gruesome experience. In an attempt to ensure a "standard of practice" the registration of "dentists" in New Zealand was introduced in 1880. In 1904 an Act of Parliament placed the education of dentists under the control of the University of New Zealand. A four year Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree was introduced in 1907 with provision for 20 - 25 students. The first Dean was Dr H.P. Pickerill who achieved distinction for his research into dental caries and later as a plastic surgeon.

The third Dean, Sir John Walsh strengthened the scientific and clinical base of the Dentistry by providing modern research facilities and introduced post-graduate programmes a, in the early sixties, when the Faculty moved into the third Dental School, later to be called the Walsh Building. Sir John was an advocate for water fluoridation in N.Z. but will be best remembered for his patent and construction of the a high speed air turbine handpiece (1949) which is very similar to the high speed handpieces in use today.