dental education

Dental education research

Exploring the development and evaluation of dental education

The demand for dental care is unceasing. Within an ageing population, people are retaining their teeth to an older age and requiring more complex dental treatment and maintenance at their dental practices. Dental teams need to cope with a diverse population with ever-changing disease patterns.

Our research focuses on the development and evaluation of innovative education for the dental team. We develop new operative and learning tools for dentistry – such as the use of Teledentistry in dental education – and collaborate with industrial partners, such as Kerr Dental, to test different dental materials and techniques.

We aim to develop health care professionals who can meet the changing demands of the population, and the outcomes of our research could improve the training of the dental care workforce pre and post-qualification. Our work researching interprofessional and outreach activities have also led to improved knowledge, practices and access to dental care for hard-to-reach communities, such as the homeless.

Our research covers the following topics

  • Innovation in dental education
  • Technology enhanced learning
  • Inter-professional education


We use interviews, surveys and focus groups in our research and conduct experimental design where new training approaches are trialled – including simulation and interprofessional training with other health care professionals, such as optometrists.

Our dental education research is conducted using electronic systems of monitoring student performance, phantom head facilities, simulation technology for training, and outreach training experiences in the local community.

Publication highlights

Research projects

  • How post-graduate foundation training schemes for Dental Therapists (DT) prepare them for independent practice?

    Led by Mrs Laura Cox, funded by the Oral and Dental Research Trust-Robin Davis Award. The aim of this study was to examine the efficacy of postgraduate foundation training for DTs and evaluate whether participation increased clinical confidence, to investigate whether participation in the scheme enhanced career prospects and to determine barriers encountered by DTs in securing suitable positions, inclusive of Covid-19 restrictions.

  • Perceived stress and well-being amongst dental hygiene and dental therapy students

    Led by Mrs Rachel Haddow and Dr Marina Harris. This project is assessing sources of perceived stress and well-being amongst qualified Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists. The study explores the daily undertakings performed by Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapist that facilitate and contribute to stress in the workplace e.g. patient care, compliance, note writing, medical emergencies, fear of litigation, working with / without nursing support and relationship with Dentists / team dynamic.

Our members

Christos Louca Portrait

Professor Chris Louca

Director of the University of Portsmouth Dental Academy

Dental Academy

Faculty of Science and Health

PhD Supervisor

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Dr Marina Harris

Associate Professor in Dental Education and Wellbeing

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Discover our areas of expertise

Dental education is one of our areas of research expertise in Dental and Oral Health – explore the others below.

Dental public health

We undertake research relating to promoting health, preventing disease and how to facilitate access to high quality dental care for all.
Students and public using dental health clinic
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Clinical innovation

We're conducting studies that consider and test advanced clinical and diagnostic techniques, efficient models of clinical care, and novel clinical materials.
Flouride varnish being applied to a test card
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Interested in a PhD in Dental and Oral Health?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Dental and Oral Health postgraduate research degrees page.