New dental clinic opens at JCU

5 February 2014

Dental students can hone their skills while offering dental services for disadvantaged patients now that James Cook University’s new dental clinic has officially opened in Townsville.

James Cook University Dental School
JCU Dental School facilities

JCU Dentistry is a not-for-profit organization and all monies received are reinvested in the training of the future dental workforce.

The 18-chair JCU Dental facility, housed in the newly opened Clinical Practice Building, was be previewed to the Townsville dental profession last week, and began seeing patients on Jan. 30.While treating patients, students will gain experience in both routine care and complex dental treatments.

Professor John Abbott, Director of Clinical Dentistry at JCU Dental School, said JCU Dental Townsville was a student placement facility that aimed to enhance students’ clinical skills.

“JCU Dental aims to increase the students’ skills through excellence in teaching and learning in preparation for a life-long career encompassing clinical, academic and research endeavours,” Professor Abbott said.

Professor Abbott said students would be exposed to new materials and techniques to ensure they had the skills and knowledge to perform dentistry at the highest level.

“This is a collaborative approach to patient care, where patients will be referred to and from other JCU allied health clinics, within the Clinical Practice Facility as appropriate,” he said.

Professor Abbott added that James Cook University’s Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) had a particular focus on tropical and rural populations and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“JCU Dental makes quality dentistry available to disadvantaged groups and addresses the high demand for dentists in rural and remote communities.”

Chair of JCU Dental, Clive Skarott AM, said he was “happy and excited” for the official opening of the 18-chair facility, and said that everyone looks forward to working hard to ensure the students utilize the chairs to the benefit of their future clinical skills.

Professor Abbott said students would be active in oral health education and promotion, based on a sound platform of research, and will be encouraged to be actively involved in their profession through continuing education, research and professional engagement.

Students will be supervised by experienced clinicians as the treatment progresses and appointment times are extended to accommodate close supervision.

“We are grateful for the support of local professionals, including those who already have later-year students on placements in their practices,” he said, adding that they also hope those who are interested in sharing their expertise with JCU Dental School’s future dentists will consider becoming involved as part-time clinical supervisors.

“This is an important day and it is part of our dental school’s commitment to training dentists for regional, rural and remote communities.”

Professor Abbott said the focus of the gathering was to allow the local dental profession to preview the clinic facility, meet the students and demonstrate how the student’s placement was conducted and promote the benefits to the community.

“In addition, we hope to generate some enthusiasm from local dental practitioners to become involved in supervising students—there is always a need for good supervisors.”

James Cook University Dental School

Program: Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS)
Location: Cairns, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 5 years
Application deadline: 

Entry Requirements for the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS)

1. From high School
A minimum of 86% average from Grade 12 subjects, including completion of prerequisites in English, calculus, and chemistry at a Grade 12 level or higher. Biology is recommended. These qualifications are considered on an individual basis, subject to satisfying prerequisite requirements.

2. With a partially or fully completed undergraduate degree
A high level of academic standard is required for entry. A minimum of 80% cumulative average across all university studies is required. You need to have met the prerequisite subjects at least at the high school level (or equivalent) to meet the prerequisite requirements. You also must meet the prerequisite subject requirements at the high school level.

Start your application to JCU Dental School!


Do you have questions about studying at JCU Dental School? Contact OzTREKK’s Dentistry Admissions Officer at or call toll free 1 866-698-7355.