Department of Oral and Maxillofacial diseases

The Department conducts and develops research in the field, as well as related basic education, postgraduate research education, specialist education in dentistry and continuing education for dentists.
Education

The degree title to be awarded is the Licentiate of Dentistry (LicDent). The overall scope of the Licentiate of Medicine degree is 360 credits, with 330 credits as the minimum scope for the Licentiate of Dentistry degree.

Studies in dentistry are divided into two stages: preclinical (the first and second year of studies, partly identical with the studies completed by students of medicine) and clinical (beginning from the third year of studies). The clinical stage is mostly comprised of theoretical studies organised by various disciplines in dentistry, related skills lab assignments and demonstrations, as well as patient work (clinical training).

Disciplines

  • Orthodontics
  • Cariology and endodontics
  • Paediatric dental care
  • Periodontology
  • Prosthetics and occlusal physiology
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • Oral microbiology
  • Oral health care
  • Oral pathology
  • Oral radiology

Specialising dentists train as tenured specialising dentists in the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, primarily at the Surgical Hospital of the Helsinki University Central Hospital. Specialisation programmes in dentistry include the following: oral and maxillofacial surgery (six years), clinical dental care (three years) and orthodontics (three years), and health care (three years).

Com­pet­ence ex­am­in­a­tions

In Finland, the right to practise the profession of dentist, in other words, to practise as a licensed dentist, is granted by the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health Valvira. The licence is granted on the condition that the professional qualifications of the applicant correspond to those of a degree in dentistry completed in Finland. To verify this, Valvira may require the applicant to undergo competence assessment.

The assessment examinations are arranged by the training units in dentistry of the relevant Finnish universities. The examinations have been redesigned, and the reforms were piloted in 2023. As of 2023, the competence examinations comprise two stages: theory and practice.

As of 1 January 2023, the updated guidelines and payment practices apply to all individuals seeking a licence, including those who started pursuing their qualifications before 1 January 2023.

Theory examination

A theory examination will take place on 11 and 12 April 2024 in electronic form. The dates for the theory examination of the autumn of 2024 will be announced in spring 2024.

The theory examination consists of three components respectively encompassing the following disciplines: cariology, endodontics, prosthetics and stomatognathic physiology; periodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery; paediatric dental care, orthodontics, oral radiology, oral pathology, radiation safety legislation and the promotion of oral health on the population level and administration. As of 2023, the promotion of oral health on the population level and administration constitute a single section. If you have completed the section on the promotion of oral health on the population level before 2023, the administration section must be completed separately. The examination on the promotion of oral health on the population level and administration as well as the examination on radiation safety legislation are carried out according to the same rules as the other theory examination sections.

General rules for the theory examination:

  • The examination can be completed in a single session or in parts within five years. The five-year completion period is calculated from the first instance of sitting a theory examination session, with term-specific accuracy. For example, if the first session in which the applicant participates is in the spring term 2023, their last opportunity to complete the theory or practical examination is in the spring term 2028.
  • Pregnancy leave (and maternity leave), parental leave, military service and sick leave on the examination date constitute grounds for extending the duration of the examination period (five years) by one examination session. A written certificate of such grounds must be provided when applying for an extension. An extension can be granted if an examination on a component not completed by the person seeking a licence is held during the relevant leave. If the leave in question takes place over two examination sessions, the extension of the examination period will be calculated from the date of the most recent examination session missed because of the leave.
  • The theory examination sections of each discipline are assessed separately. Each discipline must be completed successfully.
  • A passing grade requires at least 50% of the score for each discipline.
  • Points can be deducted for erroneous answers.
  • The practical examination can be undertaken after at least one section of the theory examination has been successfully completed.
  • Theory examination components:

Component 1:

  • Cariology, endodontics, prosthetics and stomatognathic physiology, and periodontics
  • The overall duration of the component is two hours and 40 minutes.
  • Each section lasts 40 minutes.

Component 2:

  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, paediatric dental care and oral pathology
  • The overall duration of the component is two hours and 40 minutes.
  • Each section lasts 40 minutes.

Component 3:

  • Promotion of oral health on the population level and administration, oral radiology and radiation legislation
  • Those completing the oral radiology section will begin the component with that section, which lasts 50 minutes and consists of interpreting radiographs in addition to answering theoretical questions. It should be noted that, at the beginning of this component, the lighting in the examination room will be dimmed for 50 minutes to enable the reading of X-ray images.
  • The duration of the section on the promotion of oral health on the population level and administration is 60 minutes. The duration of the section on oral radiology is 50 minutes and the duration of the section on radiation legislation is 30 minutes.
  • The overall duration of the component is two hours and 20 minutes.

Registration for the theory examination:

The registration period for the theory examination in spring 2024 is from 15 January to 29 February 2024. Registration for the theory examination takes place through an electronic form (in Finnish). The form is open during the registration period only.

Completion:

The theory examination is completed on the electronic Moodle examination platform on University premises using the applicant’s own computer.

Theory examinations must be completed without any learning material. Participants must not have on their person a mobile phone or any other smart devices or headphones (hearing protection, if any, must be presented to the examiner in advance).

Participants must present official proof of identity (valid passport or photo ID card) before each examination session.

Visits to toilets during examinations are supervised. With the exception of a transparent unmarked bottle, no food or drinks are allowed in the examination sessions.

Only general dictionaries between Finnish or Swedish and another language are permitted. Monolingual dictionaries or other works that explain or define words are not permitted. Dictionaries may not have any markings.

Cheating:

Any attempt to cheat will result in a failing grade for the entire examination component. Other possible consequences, such as the restriction of the right to participate in subsequent examinations, will be decided separately.

Results:

Teaching and Learning Services at the Faculty of Medicine will announce the examination results by email no later than one month after the examination.

Administrative review procedure

Those seeking a licence cannot personally discuss with the examiner questions pertaining to the assessment of the examination. Those dissatisfied with the assessment of their examination can submit in writing a request for administrative review within 14 days of receiving the results of the examination. The request must specify the section or sections in which the applicant is requesting review. Unspecific requests for administrative review will not be processed. Requests for administrative review must be sent by email to meilahti-student@helsinki.fi.

Practical examination

The practical examination, comprising five disciplines (cariology, endodontics, periodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, prosthetics and stomatognathic physiology), is a clinical examination carried out in skills workshop conditions (simulation). The content and skills requirements of the examination cover all of the skills, knowledge and activities required of dentists in their clinical practice in these fields. The practical examination also includes an oral (spoken) element.

The practical examination in spring 2024 will be held from 27 May to 29 May 2024. The dates for the practical examination of the autumn of 2024 will be announced in spring 2024.

The discipline-specific components of the practical examination can be completed at once or on different occasions. The practical examination is no longer a single examination entity. The same five-year completion period, calculated with the accuracy of one term, applies to the validity of the practical examination. The five-year completion period is calculated from the first instance of sitting a theory examination session, with term-specific accuracy. For example, if the first session in which the applicant participates is in the spring term 2023, their last opportunity to complete the theory or practical examination is in the spring term 2028. Failed examinations can be retaken at the next practical examination session, taking the five-year completion period into account. No separate retake sessions will be organised.

General rules for the practical examination:

  • The practical examination can be completed at one go or in parts after at least one section of the theory examination has been successfully completed.
  • Pregnancy leave (and maternity leave), parental leave, military service and sick leave on the examination date constitute grounds for extending the duration of the examination period (five years) by one examination session. A written certificate of such grounds must be provided when applying for an extension. An extension can be granted if an examination on a component not completed by the person seeking a licence is held during the relevant leave. If the leave in question takes place over two examination sessions, the extension of the examination period will be calculated from the date of the most recent examination session missed because of the leave.
  • The practical examination sections for each individual discipline are assessed separately. Each discipline must be completed successfully.
  • A passing grade requires at least 50% of the score for each discipline.
  • Points can be deducted for erroneous answers. The examination can be failed in the case of mistakes that would result in a significant treatment failure. The examination takes into consideration dentistry as a whole, including aseptic technique and interaction with the patient in addition to the procedure to be carried out. The document entries requested in the examination tasks must comply with the standards of Finnish healthcare and the instructions.

Registering for the practical examination:

The registration period for the practical examination in spring 2024 is from 15 January to 29 February 2024. Registration for the practical examination takes place through an electronic form (in Finnish). The form is open during the registration period only.

Cheating:

Any attempt to cheat will result in the rejection of the entire examination component. Other possible consequences, such as the restriction of the right to participate in subsequent examinations, will be decided separately.

Results:

Teaching and Learning Services at the Faculty of Medicine will announce the examination results by email no later than one month after the examination.

Administrative review procedure

Those seeking a licence cannot personally discuss with the examiner questions pertaining to the assessment of the examination. Those dissatisfied with the assessment of their examination can submit in writing a request for administrative review within 14 days of receiving the results of the examination. The request must specify the section or sections in which the applicant is requesting review. Unspecific requests for administrative review will not be processed. Requests for administrative review must be sent by email to meilahti-student@helsinki.fi.

  • Only general dictionaries between Finnish or Swedish and another language are permitted. Monolingual dictionaries or other works that explain or define words are not permitted. Dictionaries may not have any markings.
  • You may arrive at the examination no more than 30 minutes late. However, the duration of the examination is not extended correspondingly. You can leave the examination no earlier than 30 minutes after it begins.
  • The languages of examination are Finnish and Swedish. The questions can only be received in one of these languages, and the answers must be in the same language. Answers in other languages will not be taken into consideration in the assessment. If you wish to receive the questions in Swedish, you must notify Teaching and Learning Services at the Faculty of Medicine no later than two weeks before the examination.

 

General principles of examinations

The examinations are carried out in accordance with the general principles of examinations at the University of Helsinki, in so far as they do not conflict with the rules and instructions pertaining to this particular examination provided by the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health Valvira.

Regulations on Degrees and the Protection of Students’ Rights at the University of Helsinki
The examination of a person found cheating is given a failing grade in its entirety, and no fees will be refunded. Other possible consequences, such as the restriction of the right to participate in subsequent examinations, will be decided separately.

Examination location

The examinations will be held at the University of Helsinki’s Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases (Oral and Dental Centre, Haartmaninkatu 1a). Participants are requested to arrive in the building’s main lobby 15 minutes before the examination begins.

Further information

In questions pertaining to the examination arrangements, please write to meilahti-student@helsinki.fi.

The examination fees are determined in accordance with the Government decree on fees collected by universities (1082/2009).

  1. Theory examination 

    • 11 sections, €95.00 per section, with the exception of the promotion of oral health on the population level and administration (€100.00). Total €1,050.00
  2. Practical examination 

    • Five sections, €230.00 per section, including all material costs at €500.00. Total €1,150.00

Payment instructions

Examination participants will receive an invoice for the examination fees on the basis of their registration details. When registering, participants must indicate the name, identity code or business code as well as the postal address, code and city of the party paying the fee. If the payer is someone other than the participant, the participant must also submit a payment commitment.

The examination fee is paid before participating in each individual examination session. Receipts of paid examination fees must be brought to the examination session. Payment of the fee denotes binding registration for the examination. The fee will be refunded only on the basis of a medical certificate or other certificate of disqualification issued in writing by the authorities. If the payment is made from abroad, please use the bank’s SWIFT code.

After completing the qualification examinations, dentists must work with a limited licence to practise the profession for at least one year. Applicants must independently look for a job where they can work with such a licence.

Working with a limited licence means that the applicant works as a dentist under the direction and supervision of another licensed dentist at a specific healthcare unit. The National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health Valvira can grant a licence for up to six months at a time. When granting an extension licence, the employer’s statement on the concluded licence period will be taken into consideration. Working with a licence is possible at healthcare units maintained by both the public and private sectors. 

After working with a licence for one year, dentists can be granted the right to practise dentistry independently in Finland. Applications for the right must include a statement by the employer on the work completed with the licence. Valvira can grant the applicant the right to practise dentistry independently if the employer's statement supports it. In other cases, Valvira requires the completion of additional work with a licence or traineeships. Limited licences can be granted for no more than two years. More information on the Valvira website.

Note! The information on this page applies to education that started in the autumn of 2023. Information about the preparatory training, which may start in the autumn of 2024, can be found on the Finnish page. An English translation is coming soon.

 

Preparatory training for the competence examinations required of dentists with a degree in dentistry from outside the eu/eea

Dentists trained outside the EU/EEA must obtain professional practice rights from the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health Valvira to practise their profession in Finland. The training focuses on this qualification process, and does not lead to a degree. The preparatory training is organised at the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Turku. The University of Helsinki organises the application procedure.

Description of the preparatory training for competence examinations

Start date: August 2023

Location: Kuopio (University of Eastern Finland) and Turku (University of Turku) (links in Finnish only)
Language of instruction: Finnish
Schedule: Daytime classes (Mon–Fri 8.00–16.00)
Method: Contact teaching, remote teaching
Form of study: Supervised learning, independent study
Planned duration: 10 months (08/2023–05/2024)
Fee: None

Course content

The training provides the basic skills required of dentists in Finnish society. The training is implemented according to a set schedule, as teaching is integrated into the timetable of undergraduate students. The training includes lectures, seminars and assignments. Read more about the learning outcomes (in Finnish only).

A strong commitment to the training, which requires attendance (excluding agreed holidays), is expected from those admitted. The start date of the training cannot be postponed. Finding accommodation in the training location is recommended.

Applying for the training
Prerequisites for applying for the training
  • A fixed-term or permanent residence permit at the beginning of the training
  • A degree in dentistry completed outside the EU/EEA approved by Valvira
  • A Finnish national certificate of language proficiency completed at least on YKI level 3 (level B1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) in all areas or a public administration language examination completed at least satisfactorily in all areas
  • A dental traineeship of at least three months at a public healthcare unit (*)
  • At least one theory examination component successfully completed. Only examination components successfully completed by the application deadline are taken into account.
Application period 

The application period for the training is open from 1 to 31 March 2023. Applying takes place via an electronic form.

The next call for applications for preparatory training will be announced when further funding becomes available.

Pre-screening 

Application forms returned by the deadline will be assessed and scored. On the basis of this pre-screening, the 20 applicants with the highest score will be invited to an entrance examination.

In the pre-screening, applicants can receive a maximum of 25 points as follows:

  • 1 point per successfully completed theory examination section, up to 10 points
  • 2 points per successfully completed practical examination section, up to 10 points
  • Motivation letter, up to 5 points

If enough applicants in the pre-screening receive the same score to exceed the quota for those invited to the entrance examination, the following criteria will be applied, in the order given, to break the tie:

  1. Points for completed theory examination sections
  2. Points for completed practical examination sections
  3. Points for the motivation letter

Applicants will be notified of the results by email. At this time, applicants admitted to the entrance examination will also be sent information on arrival at the examination.

Entrance examination 

The entrance examination will be held on 15 and 16 May 2023 from 8.00 to 16.00 at the University of Helsinki. Applicants’ identities will be verified at the entrance examination.

The entrance examination includes a written language test and an interview. The written language test will be held on 15 May 2023 at the Haartman Institute (Haartmaninkatu 3, hall 1), while the interviews will be held on 15 and 16 May 2023 at the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases (Haartmaninkatu 1A).

In the entrance examination, applicants can receive a maximum of 36 points as follows:

  • Written language test, up to 15 points
  • Interview, up to 21 points, of which the maximum score for the content is 14 points and for the language assessment 7 points

If enough applicants receive the same score to exceed the quota for admissions, the following criteria will be applied in given order to break the tie:

  1. Points for the interview content
  2. Points for the written language test
  3. Points for the interview language assessment
  4. Points in the pre-screening according to the pre-screening tie-break criteria
Admissions results 

The eight most successful applicants in the entrance examination will be admitted to the preparatory training for competence examinations, four to the University of Turku and four to the University of Eastern Finland. Two further applicants will be admitted to a waiting list for each university.

The results will be announced to the applicants via email by 31 May 2023.

Accepting a student place

Applicants must accept a place offered in the preparatory training within 14 days of receiving the results.

The original versions of the documents requested on the application form will be verified.

Applications submitted by persons guilty of cheating will be rejected in their entirety.

Administrative review procedure

Applicants dissatisfied with the admissions results can request in writing an administrative review from the entrance examination working group for the preparatory training. Requests for administrative review pertaining to the pre-screening stage must be submitted in writing within 14 days of the publication of the pre-screening results, while requests for administrative review pertaining to the admissions decision must be submitted within 14 days of receiving the decision. The request must specify the sections in which the applicant is requesting review:

  • Requests pertaining to pre-screening must clearly indicate the alleged error in the pre-screening.
  • Requests pertaining to the admissions decision must clearly indicate the alleged error in the assessment of the written entrance examination and/or interview.

Unspecific requests for administrative review will not be processed, and any new attachments enclosed with the request will not be taken into consideration. Requests for administrative review must be sent by email to meilahti-student@helsinki.fi.

The training is funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture (Talent Boost programme) and free of charge to the students. Participants are responsible for their travel and accommodation expenses related to the entrance examination.

In exceptional circumstances (e.g., due to the coronavirus pandemic), the start date of the training can be postponed, the training can be cancelled in its entirety, or its implementation can be changed in accordance with the guidelines of the Kuopio Campus of the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Turku.

More information: meilahti-student@helsinki.fi

Research

The wide-ranging and diverse research activities of the Department include both clinical and basic research. One of their most important objectives is the promotion of clinical research with the methods of molecular biology and biotechnology. The Department houses well-equipped laboratory facilities in the Biomedicum Helsinki building, whereas clinical research is primarily done in collaboration with HUS. In addition, the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases has an extensive research cooperation network with both Finnish and international partners.

Its research subjects range from issues of public health and epidemiology to basic research in dental and oral diseases, as well as applied and clinical research.

Contact details

Head of de­part­ment

Professor David Rice
david.rice@helsinki.fi
PO Box 41 (Haartmaninkatu 1)
00014 University of Helsinki

Ad­dress

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases
PO Box 41 (Haartmaninkatu 1)
00014 University of Helsinki
Tel: +358 294 1911

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases
Scientific Research Laboratory
Biomedicum
PO Box 63 (Haartmaninkatu 8)
00014 University of Helsinki