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Become a registered prosthodontist in New Zealand and Australia

Start your application on the DClinDent regulations page

What is Prosthodontics?

Prosthodontics is the dental speciality primarily concerned with the restoration and replacement of lost or damaged teeth. A prosthodontist uses dental materials to restore or replace teeth and missing tissues. Prosthodontists have an understanding of all the elements of a person's smile – not just the teeth, but also the gums, lips, and facial features. When it comes to planning and carrying out complex dental treatments, a team of dental specialists in different fields is often required. In many cases, that team is led by the prosthodontist.

DClinDent in Prosthodontics

Duration 3 years full-time
Campus Dunedin
  • Prepare students for specialist practice in New Zealand
  • Provide education and training in scientific investigation
  • Develop a sense of inquiry and intellectual independence so that postgraduates will be able to advance both their personal professional skills and the discipline of prosthodontics
  • Have a detailed knowledge of the biological foundations of prosthodontics and have learned how to apply this knowledge clinically
  • Be able to diagnose and treat a wide variety of prosthodontic problems to a high standard
  • Be able to critically evaluate current research literature and determine any potential application to the principles or procedures of prosthodontics
  • Have satisfactorily completed a research thesis containing the results of an investigation normally relating to prosthodontics
  • Have acquired attitudes and skills essential for independent and life-long learning
  • Should have the academic qualifications necessary for registration as a prosthodontist by the Dental Council of New Zealand

Skills you will develop / learn

  • Planning of complex dental treatment needs from start to finish that can involve multiple dental specialists
  • Learn the steps and stages involved in restoring worn down and broken dentition as well as where there are limited or no teeth, using crowns, bridges, dentures and partial dentures
  • Working with dental specialists on replacing missing teeth with implant restorations
  • Gain an in-depth knowledge of dental materials as well as diagnosing and managing temporomandibular disorders, maxillofacial defects and management of the effects of head and neck oncology

After course completion

On completion of the course, you can register as a prosthodontist and therefore carry out the scope of work which could include restoring worn down dentition, with an evidence-based understanding of how to carry out this treatment.

Student experiences

Dr Dhrupad Siddhanta

Dhrupad Siddhanta image“My postgraduate journey was exciting, challenging, inspiring and life-changing all at the same time. The staff and fellow postgraduates were always keen to help you navigate the system and there was a sense of being “on a mission” throughout my postgraduate training”

“There is a fundamental upgrade in mindset and confidence that comes with postgraduate training. I am constantly motivated to improve, educate and innovate. The overarching emphasis on evidence-based decision making during postgraduate training gets well and truly ingrained in you and ultimately makes you a more mature clinician.”

Read more about Dr Siddhanta's DClinDent experience

Dr Adeline Chai

Adeline Chai image“My postgraduate training has allowed me to view patients with a different perspective and provide comprehensive care for my patients. I have also learnt to communicate and work closely with other specialists.”

“The Otago Faculty of Dentistry has strong academic and research reputations. The teaching staff at the Department of Oral Rehabilitation consists of experienced and highly qualified clinicians and specialists. On top of that, I enjoy living and studying in Dunedin.”

Read more about Dr Chai's DClinDent experience

Abdelrahman Badarneh

Abdelrahman Badarneh image“Prosthodontics is a perfect match for my skills and personality. I always loved to restore broken things, solve problems, think laterally and be creative. In addition, compared to other specialties, Prosthodontics gives you the chance to develop that long-term relationship with your patients, follow up your work over long term, and learn new things every day.”

“The DClinDent programme has improved the way I approach patients, plan treatment, make clinical decisions, execute treatment, follow up and learn from my mistakes.”

Read more about Abdelrahman's DClinDent experience

Staff expertise

Professor Karl Lyons - Head of Discipline

Karl LyonsProfessor Lyons has carried out research in dental implants and materials and in microbial adhesion to dental obturator prostheses, particularly adhesion of C. albicans and S. epidermidis. The latter was the topic of his PhD, which was awarded in 2012.

Professor Lyons has also been collaborating with DClinDent students with a research emphasis on clinical and in vitro research in the areas of implant prosthodontics and dental materials, particularly ceramics.

Professor Sunyoung Ma

Sunyoung Ma - image 2021Associate Professor Ma's research interest includes conducting clinical trials using different treatment modalities involving dental implants for patients especially in the older age group that need to replace their missing teeth. The main research outcome of interest includes biological success of the treatment as well as long-term clinical maintenance/ complication issues for both clinicians and patients including any treatment impact on oral health related quality of life for these patients. Associate Professor Ma is also the primary investigator evaluating the clinical stability of zirconia abutments in association with low-temperature degradation and wear at the titanium-zirconia implant-abutment interfaces. Her current research projects include CAD-CAM technology used in fixed/removable prosthodontics and implant dentistry as well as virtual implant treatment planning.

Associate Professor Vincent Bennani

Vincent BennaniAssociate Professor Bennani has two research themes linking his clinical interests and his biomaterials expertise. His research interests are focused on innovative techniques in dentistry, particularly soft tissue management in implantology. Little has been published about the challenges presented by the unique anatomy surrounding implants and how to preserve it during prosthodontics procedures. His research recognises the need for new strategies in prosthodontics procedures.

Dr Suzanne Hanlin

Suzanne HanlinDr Hanlin has three main fields of research that support and inform dental clinical practice and teaching in New Zealand: Clinical Practice Based Research Network (PBRN), dental education, and health informatics in dentistry.

Dr Hanlin chairs the board of the (Applied Research through Clinicians' Hands) dental PBRN. She is a consultant registered specialist prosthodontist with clinical expertise in fixed and removable prosthodontics and implantology.

Dr Don Schwass

Don SchwassDr Schwass' research interests focus on the assessment and application of diagnostic tools for cariology, the management of dental caries, and the use of micro-CT (micro-computer tomography) and CBCT (cone beam computer tomography) for evaluation of mineralised tissues.

In collaboration with Dr Carla Meledandri (Chemistry, University of Otago), he has developed several methods for size-controlled synthesis of micelle-stabilised silver nanoparticles, engineered for optimal antimicrobial and optical properties, specifically designed for application on teeth to prevent, control progression, or eliminate, dental caries.

Dr Abdullah Barazanchi

Abdullah Barazanchi (2020)Dr Barazanchi's research specialises in applications of 3D printing and digital workflow in dentistry. 3D printing is becoming increasingly common in dentistry due to its low energy and low material wastage. It bypasses physical limitations of manual or other automated techniques. Some international dental laboratories already use the technology in their manufacture of dental prostheses.

Dr Barazanchi is also interested in digital workflow where automated design and manufacturing procedures occur digitally with very minimal manual handling, theoretically reducing the human error involved with handling materials.

Dr Kate Newsham-West

Dr Newsham-West is a Professional Practice Fellow in the Department of Oral Rehabilitation, with a research interest in dental education.

Course content: Year 1

CLDN 910 Research Evaluation and Design

  • Molecular biology – implications in dental research and care
  • Anatomy of the head and neck
  • Human development with emphasis on orofacial tissues
  • Genetic understanding of orofacial development and disease
  • Orofacial diseases
  • Orofacial disease management
  • Dental care and research – responsibilities under the Treaty of Waitangi
  • Research development
  • Health research
  • Oral microbiology research
  • Dental materials research
  • Clinical dental research
  • Critical evaluation of scientific literature
  • Biostatistics and statistics
  • Scientific writing

CLDN 920 Clinical Practice – Research Evidence

  • Scientific understanding of the health and disease of orofacial tissues
  • Research evidence of management of particular orofacial problems
  • Clinical management
  • Patient management
  • Laboratory experience will be related to acquisition of clinical skills

Course content: Years 2 and 3

CLDN 9F Thesis Research, Clinical Research, Clinical Practice

  • Supervised research investigation and preparation of a thesis
  • Clinical research and practice involving prescribed patients referred for specialist care


You are required to pass both papers in the first year of the programme with at least a B+ grade in each paper to be able to continue to the second and third years of thesis research, clinical research, and clinical practice.

By the end of the first year, the Head of Department and the DClinDent Co-ordinator will assess your capacity to complete the course. Where advisable, you may be recommended to be awarded a Diploma.

Internal assessment

A grade for the year's internal assessment will be derived from reports made by clinical teachers and other internally-assessed course components during the year.


Examinations will be held at the end of each year. A paper is a graded component of the total examination process and may be comprised of some or all of the following: internal assessment, written examination, oral examination, clinical oral examination, assessment of the logbook, presentation and oral examination of the research report.

Course instruments

You are encouraged to provide a laptop computer and a digital SLR camera, lens, and flash of a design approved by the Department. Other dental equipment and materials used in clinical and laboratory work are provided.

The Department will ensure that funds are available for the research project, and may provide some assistance with photocopying.

How to apply

Start your application on the DClinDent regulations page

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