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The University of Sheffield

Discover Dentistry

The University of Sheffield via FutureLearn


Learn how to become a dentist and what that means

Are you fascinated by the world of dentistry? Try our 6-week course by the University of Sheffield and learn the essentials of dentistry from leading dental experts.

You’ll explore the intricacies of what dentists do, learn how to become a dentist and discover the rich history of dentistry.

Understand tooth anatomy and development

To start with, you’ll meet the dental team and receive a tour of the dental surgery. You’ll experience a dental check-up with experts and discover the basics of tooth anatomy and development by looking at 3D models.

Find out if you’ve been brushing your teeth the right way, and glimpse into the different dental specialities. Learn what an oral pathologist does and experience a virtual tour of a tooth.

Learn about dental treatments and different dental materials

You may be familiar with dental treatments such as dentures and crowns, but you’ll discover more about dental restoration in this course.

We’ll be thinking about dental materials that can be used to restore and replace teeth, including plastics, ceramics and metals such as gold and titanium.

Discover the future of dentistry and dental public health

In the final few weeks, we’ll be thinking about the future of teeth and how to care for the teeth of a population. From water fluoridation to diet effects, teeth are not immune to damage.

Spark your curiosity and take a look at current research in dentistry, such as nerve regeneration and tissue engineering. The future of dentistry holds many exciting possibilities.

To finish, you’ll get the chance to learn how to become a dentist and get a valuable introduction to studying dentistry degrees.

This course is for anyone interested in dentistry or science and is designed to be enjoyed without prior knowledge.

It would be especially valuable for dentistry professionals, or anyone thinking of entering the profession.

Due to the highly visual nature of dentistry, a small number of exercises in the course, unfortunately, won’t be accessible to learners with visual impairment.


  • Discover dentistry
    • Welcome to Week 1
    • A brief history of dentistry
    • The Dental Team
    • Week 1 Summary and quiz
  • Teeth and their care
    • Welcome to Week 2
    • Introduction to tooth development, shape and function
    • A dental checkup
    • Instruments and charting
    • How to brush like a pro!
    • Week 2 Summary and quiz
  • Oral disease and trauma
    • Welcome to Week 3
    • Meet the specialists
    • It's not all about teeth!
    • Oral Pathology
    • Your dental experiences
    • Week 3 Summary and quiz
  • Restoring and replacing teeth
    • Welcome to Week 4
    • The history of dental materials
    • Dental restoration and dental materials
    • Modern dental materials
    • Do try this at home: Kitchen experiments
    • Week 4 Summary and quiz
  • Caring for a population's teeth
    • Welcome to Week 5
    • What is Dental Public Health?
    • Discussion: The Big Issues
    • Discussion: Your diet
    • Dental ethics and the law
    • Week 5 Summary
  • The future of teeth
    • Welcome to Week 6
    • Current research in dentistry
    • Final course assessment
    • Farewell video

Taught by

Christopher Stokes


4.9 rating, based on 171 Class Central reviews

4.9 rating at FutureLearn based on 232 ratings

Start your review of Discover Dentistry

  • this course was really helpful in getting a basic understanding of the dentistry career, including many different specialisations.
  • Profile image for Rachel Turner
    Rachel Turner
    Excellent course! It doesn't assume any prior knowledge, so is accessible to everyone (though a little background understanding of basic science and a bit of biology/human biology is helpful, but not essential). I found it really interesting and le…
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I am doing this course to, primarily, help me to gain a better insight into the realms of dentistry and what dentists do. It has been an interesting and eye-opener journey. The many facets of dentistry and the practice of the profession in various s…
  • Anonymous
    This course has widely increased my knowledge about dentistry! I have fount it very fascinating and interesting as this course provided real life examples, such as the anxious patient and how to deal with patients who are scared to come to the dentist. What I found most interesting was the history of dentistry and how its changed over time. I've leant a lot about the different professions and how dentistry has a very wide range of routes that students can take. Thank you very much for putting this course together!
  • Anonymous
    I loved it! It was engaging , fun, and made me realise his interlinked dentistry is to our day to day lives. It really helped to widen my thoughts and ideas about dentistry and has made me even more excited to go onto study it at university.
  • Profile image for Yujyun Chen
    Yujyun Chen
    It's a fascinating class that introduce the dentistry. Not only that, but I also learned many aspects of what dentists in the UK are going to do in the future. Indeed, it taught me about different culture in the field of dentistry.
  • Anonymous
    Fantastic course, really informative. Secured my decision in becoming a dentist. Would completely recommemd so much fun too!
  • Anonymous
    This course covers a range of topics related to dentistry and is a great course for those interested in the subject.
  • Anonymous
    It was very helpful and useful and very informative about what I hope to do as my job. The second week was my favourite, it was very fun to watch the dental check-up and to do the dental assistant activities.
  • Anonymous
    The discover dentistry course has been incredibly beneficial to me. I've found it very informative and enjoyed taking part in all the activities. The simulations provided a realistic experience to an online classroom and benefitted greatly. I found…
  • Anonymous
    This course was very informative and very engaging. With videos, images and links to research papers, it has everything you need to stay interested and gives amazing insight into the dental profession, specialities and whether it is right for you. I would highly recommend this to anyone thinking of taking this course :)
  • Anonymous
    Discover Dentistry is the best course I have ever done! Professor Chris and others from the University of Sheffield have put in a lot of effort into making this course the best it can be, and it shows. The course has a range of different elements, including videos, practicals and quizzes, all of which help greatly in learning and remembering the content. Speaking of the content, it is so fascinating that there must be something for everyone. It has a different focus each week, beginning with the foundations of dentistry, through the processes and information of the modern day, right up to fields of research. I would like to give great thanks to Professor Chris for making such a fantastic course!
  • Anonymous
    Such an informative, immersive and interactive course. So so impressed. I would highly recommend for anyone aspiring to study within the Dental field or just looking for some subject insight! Deffo great value for money too.
  • Anonymous
    Extremely interesting and educational course. Took into consideration many aspects of dentistry and explained the basics in detail. Truly inspiring and definitely worth participating in if you’re interested in dentistry.
  • Adnan Abdalghfar Abdalrhman Alabsye
    Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the preparation of this wonderful course, which I consider one of the best courses in the field of oral and dental health
  • Anonymous
    A very well planned course with lots of insight from multiple professionals. The structure of the course was great with lots of material that was revisited over multiple topics. The use of videos, articles and interactive features made the course engaging. Reading comments from other learners allows many opinions to be voiced on the same topic, it was interesting to see others perspectives.
    Would recommend this course to anyone interested in dentistry or doing dentistry - you may learn something you don’t expect to!
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This is an outstanding overview of dentistry and dental health. From fascinating historical facts to cutting edge research, the course succeeds in giving a broad perspective. It also provides some very detailed information for practical application - for example, it is the clearest lesson I have ever seen on exactly how to brush teeth properly! Apart from the excellent information, the course delivery is fun and varied. Sample exercises include charting a sample patient's dental chart, modelling a crown with 'clay', doing a mini research project and home kitchen experiments. In short............something for everyone who has teeth or dentures! Highly recommended.
  • Anonymous
    I really enjoyed this course, I learnt alot and it has really helped me in expanding my knowlage on dentistry.
  • Anonymous
    This course is really interesting. If you are unsure about studying dentistry at university, This course provides some amazing information about what you may study, The history of dentistry, Its overall background, and a little insight into what overall dentistry is in this world. The course is split into 6 weeks which ensures you are not overloaded with information and is really well structured with many activities and videos to support your learning. Thank you for this amazing course.
  • Anonymous
    Thank you so much to everyone who has put this course together for us. I thought this course would be just a general overview, but I've learnt so much and I've been inspired to go away and do my own research into aspects that have interested me. It was also great to be able to hear from the experts who were very eloquent and passionate with their delivery. Thank you!

    Cannot recommend this course enough for aspiring dentists.

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