Paramedics and emergency dental care

When to call a paramedic for emergency dental care

Degree type


Closing date

27 March 2023



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

The public health burden of dental injuries is great, with immediate and long-term costs and consequences at individual, family and community levels. Immediate burdens include the acute management of the injury, which is often painful or distressing for the individual and their families. This is further complicated because a dental emergency is a severe medical situation and requires immediate attention at a dental facility for consideration. In general, hospital emergency rooms do not have a dentist on staff.
Response of paramedic services is essential in these situations, as time elapsed between injury and commencing emergency dental management affects trauma sequelae and its long-term consequences. There are recommendations that avulsions and dental alveolar fractures in permanent teeth should be managed within 3 hours. Long-term consequences include disfigurement and repeated episodes of treatment, impacting quality of life and economic productivity of patients and families.

There is a scarcity of data regarding traumatic dental injuries (TDI) and isolated dental injuries (IDI) worldwide, including their presentation in hospitals across Australia. Less is known about the emergency response of paramedic services and the role and competency of paramedics in both initial treatment and referral to specialist pathways. With national increases in preventable dental hospitalisation, this Project, offers the opportunity to work with leading scholars in Public Health and Paramedicine to evaluate the interdisciplinary response of health services to dental injuries in the community accessing data from current services in Tasmania. The research will also determine the detail of education and practice in paramedic programs of dental emergency management. This provides the opportunity to explore the development of professional competencies specific skills in other fields. Professionals must recognise their role in treating oral injuries and preventing compounding conditions. Overall this Project offers the opportunity to improve dental health outcomes and potential collaborative relationships between paramedic and primary care providers in Australian communities.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Silvana Bettiol


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $31,500 per annum (2023 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus
  • Capacity and willingness to work closely and respectfully with other primary care providers and emergency services personnel

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • High level data analysis skills
  • Experience in education and training in paramedicine or dentistry

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Silvana Bettiol to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. Submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application, you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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