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DClinDent in Endodontics

Become a registered endodontist in New Zealand and Australia

Start your application on the DClinDent regulations page

What is endodontics?

Endodontics is the branch of dentistry concerned with the morphology, physiology, and pathology of the human dental pulp and peri-radicular tissues. The study and practice of endodontics includes the bilology of the normal pulp and peri-radicular tissues and the etiology, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and injuries that affect the tissues.

Endodontists perform a range of routine and complex procedures, including surgery if required. They’re also experts at diagnosing and treating the origin of oral and facial pain.

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DClinDent in Endodontics

Duration Three years full-time (47 weeks per year).
Campus Dunedin (for all academic, clinical, and research training).
  • Prepare students for specialist practice in New Zealand and Australia
  • Provide education and training in scientific investigation, critical appraisal of literature, and scientific writing
  • Develop the intellectual independence necessary for future career development and life-long learning
  • A detailed knowledge of the biological foundations of the pulp dentine complex, and pulp and periapical disease
  • Understanding the causes and pathogenesis of orofacial pain and endodontic disease
  • Be able to recognise and diagnose a wide range of endodontic problems
  • Be able to treatment plan, provide a high standard of clinical care in the treatment of endodontic disease, and evaluate treatment outcomes
  • Be able to critically appraise scientific literature
  • Have written a thesis based upon scientific investigation undertaken in the field of endodontics, and learnt the fundamental principles of scientific investigation
  • Have acquired the essential attitudes and skills which enable independent continuing education and career development
  • Have gained the academic qualifications required to embark upon a career as a specialist endodontist – either in private practice or academia

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After course completion

On completion of the course, you’ll be able to register as an endodontist and therefore carry out the scope of work which could include:

  • Root canal treatment
  • Diagnosing toothaches and pain
  • Treating abscessed, cracked, or dislodged teeth

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Conjoint membership with Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons

The Universty of Otago has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons (RACDS). In Year 3, you may enrol with the RACDS and apply for the membership examination (MRACDS(Endo)) conjointly with the year 3 examination sat at the University. An examiner from the College is involved with the final examination. There is only one examination sat for both the MRACDS(Endo) and ClinDent.

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Experiences from students

Humza Ahmed

Humza Ahmed“Undertaking a DClinDent in endodontics has allowed me to have a much more in-depth understanding of endodontics. This has greatly influenced the way I practice dentistry, as it has allowed me to limit my practice of dentistry to endodontics.

“As I learned to use new materials and technology, I was able to implement their use into my clinical practice of endodontics. This was only possible through postgraduate studies.”

Read more about Dr Ahmed’s DClinDent experience

Nina Scott

Nina Scott“Postgraduate study has enriched my working life. Obviously, I have a much deeper understanding of my field, which brings more satisfaction, but I also have the skills to critically evaluate others’ research and draw my own conclusions.

“At the moment I work as a clinician, but I know in the future if I wanted to branch out into other non-clinical aspects of dentistry, my postgraduate training will provide more opportunities.”

Read more about Dr Scott’s DClinDent experience

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Staff expertise

Professor Nicholas Chandler

BDS(Lond) MSc(Manc) PhD(Lond) LDSRCS(Eng) MRACDS(Endo) FDSRCPS(Glas) FDSRCSEd FFDRCSI – Head of Discipline

Professor Nicholas ChandlerBorn in New Zealand, Nick trained at Guys’ Hospital and, following general practice in London and a senior hospital post, took a lectureship in Manchester. Returning to New Zealand, he completed a London external PhD in 2005. In 2016, he was awarded the Alan Docking International Assocaition for Dental Research Science Award for his research achievements. Nick has chapters in the 2010 and 2019 editions of Ingle’s Endodontics, Harty’s Endodontics in Clinical Practice (2010, 2017), and the 2016 and forthcoming edition of Cohen’s Pathways of the Pulp. He contirbuted chapters to Contemporary Restoration of Endodontically Treated Teeth (2013) and Mineral Trioxide Aggregate: Properties and Clinical Applications (2014). Nick has 120 papers in peer-reviewed journals, is Editor of the New Zealand Dental Journal, and is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Dentistry and ENDO EPT.

Associate Professor Lara Friedlander

MDS PhD(Otago) FRACDS – Clinical and Administrative Coordinator for DClinDent in Endodontics

Associate Professor Lara FriedlanderAssociate Professor Lara Friedlander is a specialist endodontist with research in the areas of pulp development and disease, practice-based research, dental education and immunopathology. She is deputy director of the Immunopathology Research Group of the Sir John Walsh Research Institute. Associate Professor Friedlander has developed research themes in pulpal biology, regeneration and angiogenesis; and separate from this is also active in research related to Endodontic curriculum development and teaching. Results of her PhD research around pulp biology and angiogenesis associated with immature permanent teeth have been presented at international conferences and published in internationally peer-reviewed journals. This work has influenced clinical practice by providing further knowledge about pulp cell behaviour and healing following dental trauma. As main author she has published on Endodontic teaching and this work is on-going and now looking at 5 year outcomes. Dr Friedlander was invited to Switzerland to speak on endodontic curriculum development at the University Forum of 160 international universities and has been an invited international judge on a research panel.

Mrs Catharina Hauman

BChD MMedSci(Pret) MDS(Otago)

Catharina HaumanCatharina (Tina) has been a part-time senior lecturer in the Department of Oral Rehabilitation since she qualified MDS(Endo) from Otago in 2002. She has a background in microbiology and has published severesearch and clinical review papers on microbiology and endodontic topics. She has been practising part-time as an endodontic specialist in Christchurch and Dunedin for the past 17 years. Her clinical experience, expertise, and practice management skills make her a valuable team member of the doctoral training programme.

Dr Peter Cathro

MDS PGCertTertT(Otago) PhD(Adelaide)

Upon completion of his specialist training in endodontics at Otago in 1994, Peter worked full-time in a private practice in Melbourne and then in Auckland. Peter later took a position as a senior lecturer at Otago before becoming Associate Professor and Head of Discipline at the University of Adelaide for seven years. Returning to Otago, Peter is now an Associate Dean (Clinical). He has lecturered extensively at international conferences and given numerous endodointic hands-on courses throughout Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. Peter completed his PhD in microbiology. His current research interests and inmicrobial adaptation and endodontic appliations of hydroxyapatite. Peter is a reviewer for five refereed journals.

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Course content: Year 1

CLDN 910 Research Evaluation and Design

Develop further critical skills in research analysis, develop your definitive research protocol, and have all approvals completed to allow research to begin.

DCLN 910 is a non-discipline-specific paper which is desighed around core / research modules or themes. Most of the modules are delivered as 1.5-hour or 3-hour seminars.


  • Critical evaluation of scientific literature and research metholdogy
  • Biostatistics, health research, and epidemiology
  • Dental care and research – responsibilities under the Treaty of Waitangi
  • Research development and health research
  • Molecular biology
  • General medicine
  • Maxillofacial development and function



  • Complete assignment and presentations by due dates with a pass grade.

Internal assessment:

  • Research-based assignment (narrative review) (30%)
  • Written protocol and presentation (70%)

CLDN 910 does not have a written examination.

CLDN 920 CLinical Practice – Research Excellence

Develop critical skills in evaluating research related to clinical practice procedures in endodontics, and advance your clinical practice competencies. You will be able to demonstrate advanced competencies in evaluating clinical research and in the discipoline of endodontics.

You will be required to provide endodontic care for selected patients over five clinical sessions per week.


  • Discipline-specific seminars with a guided reading list
  • Clinical practice sessions will be held throughout the year

Discipline-specific seminar themes:

  • Understanding pulp and periapical disease
  • Endodontic treatment planning
  • Vital pulp therapy
  • Principles of conventional root canal treatment
  • Principles of endodontic retreatment



  • Complete journal critique, case presentations, student-led seminars, and patient care with a pass grade.

Internal assessment:

  • One journal critique (formative)
  • Two evidence-based clinical case presentations (25%)
  • Clinical practice (25%)


  • Written exmaination – 3 hours (40%)
  • Oral viva voce (10%)

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Course content: Years 2 and 3

CLDN 9F Thesis Research, Clinical Research, Clinical Practice

Carry out a supervised research project related to endodontics and present a thesis on your research.

Achieve the appropriate clinical competencies to be able to register as a specialist endodontist. Demonstrate specialist-level skill in critical evauation of endodontic research and your own clinical pratice.


  • Clinical research and practice involving patients referred for specialist endodontic care
  • Present multi-disciplinary evidence-based case presentations at timetabled Grand Round symposia, Faculty Clinical Excellence Day, Faculty Research Day, and conferences

Discipline-specific seminars:

  • Orofacial trauma
  • Principles of endodontic surgery
  • Spread of odontogenic infections

Core module seminars:

  • General medicine
  • Implantology
  • Oral pathology
  • Oral medicine



  • Pass all components with a pass grade

Year 2:

  • One assignment
  • Clinical practice
  • Three case presentations
  • One journal critique
  • Student-led seminars
  • Written examination – 3 hours
  • Oral viva voce

Year 3:

  • Clincial practice
  • Three case presentations
  • One journal critique
  • Thesis examination
  • Clinical log book assessment and viva voce
  • Written examination – 3 hours

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Further information


You are suggested to provide your own:

  • Magnifying loupes (2.5x to 3.5x magnification with attached light)
  • Camera for clinical use (a digital SLR or mirrorless with macro lens and ring-flash or equivalent)
  • Laptop computer with sufficient RAM and ancillary portable drives for data storage

Recommended textbooks

  • Ingle’s Endodontics (7th edition). 2019. Eds. Ingle J., Bakland, L., & Baumgartner, J.
  • Harty’s Endodontics in Clinical Practice (7th edition). 2017. E. Chong, B.S. Elsevier, Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • Cohen’s Pathways of the Pulp (11th edition). 2016. Eds. Hargreaves, K.M. & Berman, L.H. Mosby Elsevier, USA. (New edition expected this year)
  • Contemporary Restoration of Endodontically Treated Teeth. 2013. Ed. Baba, N.Z. Quintessence Publications, USA.


Seminars are provided in years 1 and 2. During year 3, formal seminars are kept to a minimum, as you are expected to focus on completing your log book, research work, and thesis writing.

Preparation and scientific reading

At least two sessions each week during semesters are allocated for reading and preparation for cases, seminar, journal critique, or assignments. Students are also expected to work after hours and during the clinical research period (start, middle, and end of year) to complete assigmements and seminars. Presentations of cases, journal articles, assignments and research are scheduled in the endodontic discipline timetable.

Clincial practice

Fifteen hours of supervised clinical specialist practice is provided during clinics for all DClinDent (Edondontic) students. The clinical compotent of the course is based on supervised clincial practice sessions and case presentation sessions. Interdisciplinary case presentations occur at a separate venue where all academic staff and postgraduate students are invited to attend. The endodontic discpline presents to this forum twice a year. You will be provided with feedback on progress in clinical practice at the end of each semester. The mid-semester feedback will coincide with the progress meeting. The final grade will be provided at the end of the year.

Clinical treatment

You will treat patients referred to the postgraduate clinic, under the supervision of a specialist academic staff member. Each student will treat about 300 root canals during the course. Patients are only to be assigned by endodontic clinical supervisors, including those cases referred from other postgraduate disciplines. You are expected to manage your case load, in consultation with endodontic staff, in order to ensure your clinical experience covers a range of endodontic procedures.


One to two sessions per week are available for research work in the initial part of the course, and increasing in the third year.

Teaching in undergraduate clinics

You will be able to undertake 1–2 paid undergraduate clinical teaching session per week (if you are registered to pratice in New Zealand). Overseas-qualified students may have opportunities to teach in the Simulation Clinic. All endodontic postgraduate students are required, as part of the DClinDent (Endodontics) degree, to teach into undergraduate block endodontic similation teaching modules. These take place in the second semester of each year. It is not permissible to use postgraduate equipment on undergraduate teaching sessions.

Progress reports

Individual DClinDent progress meeings are held at 6, 18, and 30 months, following which a report is forwarded to the University Doctoral Office. The meeting is facilitated by an independent convenor and held with the student, together with the Head of Discipline and a clinical and research sipervisor. It is an opportnity to discuss progress within the couse, and for you to voice any concerns or areas you may be experiencing difficulties with.

Clinical log book assessment

An up-to-date electronic logbook will be kept by students throughout the degree. It will be submitted to the course co-ordinator at intervals when requested. A hard copy of selected cases is required in a log book to be available for inspection by the extenral and internal examiners during the final examination. You will be informed of the date these are required. You must provide full documentation of six cases with accompanying images and radiographs. These should demonstrate the range and quality of endodontic cases you have carried out.

Case presentations

You will develop case presentations during the programme. These must be evidence-based. The presentation of cases involves a summary of photographs, radiographs, and relevant personal details of a patient being treated. It should follow the standard endodontic assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning formally used within the Faculty of Dentistry. An opportunity is provided for full discussion of treatments. All case presentations must be discussed with the principal supervising tutor overseeing patient care prior to their release. A full written document of the case with discussion and references must be circulated to discipline staff at least one week prior to the event. Cases may be presented after examination and treatment planning (but before active treatment), or after active treatment +/- before endodontic surgery, or following treatment and assessment of healing.

Written examinations

Written exminations will be of three hours’ duration. They usually require essay-type answers. They will normally be held in early November of each year. Examinations may be held at other times for students who are incomplete and/or have failed to satisfy the requirements in the end-of-year examinations.

Oral viva voce examinations

These examinations generally involve an external examiner. All academic material is examinable, including clinical applications. An oral viva voce of 30 minutes will be held at the end of years 1 and 2. The final oral viva voce of 60 minutes will be held at the end of year 3, and will be based on the clinical log book, plus knowledge and understanding of endodontic practice at the level for registration as a specialist.

Thesis examination

There will be three examiners: Internal Unviersity of Otago, Internal New Zealand, and an External Overseas (as for a PhD). You may be required to heave a viva voce as part of the thesis examination.

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How to apply

Start your application on the DClinDent regulations page

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