Dentistry at JCU

Our History

The dental facilities at JCU was established in 2008 in response to the challenges presented by the oral health needs of Northern Australia, and its foundation is part of the Faculty’s strong commitment to the provision of health professional education for the populations of the area.

Ours is one of only three dental schools in Australia located outside a capital city. JCU’s establishment was funded by a grant of $52.5m from the Federal Government.

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The new, purpose-built building on the Smithfield campus of the University opened at the beginning of 2011. Its state-of-the art facilities include an 80-seat dental simulation laboratory, prosthodontics and science laboratories, dental clinic and student home group rooms. A new building to house the Tropical Queensland Centre for Oral Health is currently under construction next door to the Dentistry Building and is expected to open at the beginning of 2012.

The first cohort of 67 students was admitted to the Bachelor of Dental Surgery program in 2009 from a pool of over 600 applicants. JCU is committed to the education of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the health professions, and was delighted to welcome four Indigenous students in the first year class.

The foundation Head of Dentistry, Professor Andrew Sandham, and a team of more than a dozen academic staff, have been appointed since August 2008.

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Pictures. Top: Professor Andrew Sandham and Professor Alan Nimmo with the 2009 First Year Dentistry students. Bottom left: Professor Andrew Sandham and the greenfield site. Bottom right: Indigenous Dentistry students Madeleine Coleman, Barry Collins and Gari Watson.

Our Vision, Mission & Objectives

Vision Statement


To be a centre of innovation and distinction in dental education.

Our Mission

To contribute to the oral health of northern Queensland by providing a quality vibrant education and challenging clinical environment for dental skill development for our students.

Our research will focus on projects which enable innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship to flourish, and result in discoveries with a high impact factor.

Our Objectives

To be a dental education institution that produces clinically competent graduates with a sense of professionalism, ethical and social responsibility, who are sensitive to the needs of the wider community.