Master of Science in Dental Materials Science

Course Aims and Objectives

dental material scienceThis 1-year full-time outcome-based taught postgraduate programme will be of value to dentists wishing to gain a deeper understanding of their daily work. In particular, it also will be of interest to science and engineering degree-holders contemplating an attractive interdisciplinary career, will provide a strong foundation for research study, and will be of substantial value to individuals wishing to teach materials science in dentistry or medicine, whether or not clinically qualified. A strong emphasis is also in developing interdisciplinary communication skills. This programme does not involve patient contact. The programme was established in its current form in 2009 and is under continuous enhancement. MSc(DMS) (HK) is a quotable/registerable additional qualification approved by the Dental Council of Hong Kong (DCHK).

The program consists of: a) a component of theoretical studies (first semester), such as guided and self-guided learning, lectures, tutorials, presentation skills learning, journal-based learning, and iClass app (E-learning); and b) a research component (first-second semester), comprising a literature study, laboratory research, demonstrations, active attendance in 6 BDS PBL laboratory sessions, seminar presentation and scientific manuscript preparation.  These two components are the pedagogical methods throughout the MSc (DMS) programme.

The MSc(DMS) is a programme of advanced study designed to develop a broad knowledge of the principles underlying the mechanical, physical, and chemical properties of biomaterials; structure at molecular, microscopic, and macroscopic levels; adhesion promotion; setting reactions; mechanisms of reaction and mechanical failure; testing and validation; adhesion promotion; materials syntheses; and behaviour in all relevant aspects of each class of material used in dentistry, in relation to their function, application handling, and service. Students will practice scientific presentation skills in specific small group tutorials, give a seminar presentation in the Annual MSc(DMS) Postgraduate Student Seminar (June) and prepare a scientific paper based on their laboratory research project, in addition to the MSc(DMS) thesis (August).

Successful graduates may develop their career, not only in clinical dentistry (if with a BDS certificate), but also in teaching and learning, research and development, quality control and validation, marketing, logistics, production, engineering, administration, management and consulting. Owing to the rise in average life expectancy, biomaterials science has been estimated to have expanding relevance and importance.

Course Assessment and Syllabus

Assessment is based on the final exam (written paper, January), written paper exams in statistic courses, written paper exams in Biomaterials I-II (October, December), self-prepared mini presentations.

The course includes the following:

- Impression materials;
- Model and waxes;
- Model, die materials, and waxes;
- Cements and lining materials;
- Dental amalgams;
- Porcelain, alumina and zirconia;
- Metal-ceramic systems;
- Abrasives and polishing materials;
- Biomaterials (other than oral);
- Surface chemistry in dentistry;
- Investment materials;
- Dental resin-based restoratives;
- Dental metals and alloys;
- Acrylic and other polymers;
- Implant materials;
- Solders and fluxes;
- Instruments, tools, and other equipment
- Fibre-reinforced composites (FRC);
- Digital dentistry and dental informatics; and
- Other relevant materials.

It will also include, where appropriate, the processes used in fabrication and finishing, interactions in the biological context of usage, e.g., toxicity and other hazards, and the recognition of faults, e.g., failures, and their causation.

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Utilize the appropriate biomaterials (dental materials) knowing their ideal properties;
  • Describe and identify specific clinical and dental laboratory applications of the commonly used dental biomaterials;
  • Be familiar with the use, manipulation, and fabrication the commonly used dental materials in dental laboratories;
  • Acquire the knowledge of evaluating, comparing and selecting the various dental materials in the labs and clinics;
  • Be familiar with scholarly literature search methods and able to read of the recent biomaterials’ science literature, identifying problems in dental materials science and executing scientific research, reporting and writing scientifically; and
  • Have interdisciplinary communication skills.

Course Literature

  • B. W. Darvell, Materials Science for Dentistry (8th ed., 2006), and
  • J.P. Matinlinna (Ed.), Handbook of Oral Biomaterials (2014), Pan Stanford, Singapore.
  • J.P. Matinlinna & K.L. Mittal (Eds.), Adhesion Aspects in Dentistry (2009), VSP/Brill, Leiden.

On completion of the course, the student should have a good knowledge of all relevant concepts and be competent in justifying selection criteria and manipulation instructions for all classes of materials relevant to the practice of dentistry. The student will also have gained competence in a range of laboratory techniques, experimental principles, planning a research project, literature searching, and scientific writing.

(Note: This course does not involve patient contact.)

Programme Director General Enquiry Closing Date for Applications
Name: Prof. J.P. Matinlinna
Fax: (852) 2548 9464
E-mail: jpmat@hku.hk
Name: Miss Hazel Leung
Fax: (852) 2517 0544
E-mail: dentalpg@hku.hk
31 March 2017
- Regulation and Syllabus
- On-Line Application

Mode of Attendance: FT (1 year)

Entrance Requirements

  1. A BDS degree of this University or a degree/other qualification of equivalent first-degree standard from another university or comparable institution accepted for this purpose.
  2. To satisfy the examiners in a qualifying examination if required.

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