CCST9072 Science, Technology and Big Data
Smile! Teeth and Society

This course is under the thematic cluster(s) of:

  • The Quest for a Meaningful Life / The Universe and the Question of Meaning (UQM)

Course Description

Smile! Teeth and Society will explore how literature, cinema, history, biology, anatomy, pathology, catastrophic events, and cultural diversity have been shaped (and even driven by!) teeth, the face, and the human smile.

Using the “smile” and “teeth” as focal points—and these always of course occur as parts of larger wholes—a host of different relations with society will be explored to create a critical understanding around ambiguous issues such as the concept of beauty, the changing nature of health, and the relationship between the “natural” and the “artificial”. Additionally, by using active learning as a vector the students will broaden their perspectives and enhance their collaborative, innovative, and self-directed spirits. Thus, by examining the history and current understanding of the “smile” and “teeth”, we will illuminate the relationships between science, technology, and everyday life in a cross-cultural context. How can a smile impact our society?

Course Learning Outcomes

On completing the course, students will be able to:

  1. Summarize and critique the significance of smile/teeth in cultural, ethnic, and historical variability.
  2. Explain the basic and most relevant anatomy, physiology and pathology of teeth.
  3. Articulate the impact of teeth with regard to facial aesthetics and psychological wellbeing.
  4. Analyze and how teeth are not only of interest to dental medicine, but also are an integral part of arts, sociology, psychology, anthropology and science.

Offer Semester and Day of Teaching

Second semester (Wed)

Study Load

Activities Number of hours
Lectures 24
Tutorials 12
Reading / Self-study 30
Elaboration of video and poster 35
Assessment: Essay / Report writing 15
Assessment: Presentation (incl preparation) 15
Assessment: In-class test (incl preparation) 5
Total: 136

Assessment: 100% coursework

Assessment Tasks Weighting
Video production 35
Continuous assessment and task focused activities 30
Individual reflective exercises 35

Required Reading

  • Hatfield, E., Bensman, L., Thornton, P. D., & Rapson, R. L. (2014). New perspectives on emotional contagion: A review of classic and recent research on facial mimicry and contagion. Interpersona, 8(2), 159-179.
  • Krys, K., -Melanie Vauclair, C., Capaldi, C. A., et al. (2016, June). Be careful where you smile: Culture shapes judgments of intelligence and honesty of smiling individuals. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 40(2), 101–116.
  • Leung, C. (2008). Forensic odontology. Hong Kong Medical Diary Dental Bulletin, 13(11), 16-20.
  • Patnaik, V., Rajan, S., & Sanju, B. (2003, January). Anatomy of a beautiful face and smile. Journal of the Anatomical Society of India, 52(1) 74-80.

Course Co-ordinator and Teacher(s)

Course Co-ordinator Contact
Dr A.W.K. Yeung
Applied Oral Sciences of the Faculty of Dentistry
Tel: 2859 0403
Teacher(s) Contact
Dr A.W.K. Yeung
Applied Oral Sciences of the Faculty of Dentistry
Tel: 2859 0403
Dr M.Y.Y. Leung
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery of the Faculty of Dentistry
Tel: 2859 0511