Dental education, like any other educational programme in a research-intensive university environment, must be research led or at least research informed. In this context, as the research and knowledge base of dentistry lies in the biological and physical sciences, dental education must be led by advances in research in both these areas. There is no doubt that biotechnology and nanotechnology have, over the past 25 years, led research in both these areas. It is therefore logical to assume that this has also impacted on dental education. The aim of this paper is twofold; on one hand to examine the effects of biotechnology and nanotechnology and their implications for dental education and on the other to make recommendations for future developments in dental education led by research in biotechnology and nanotechnology. It is now generally accepted that dental education should be socially and culturally relevant and directed to the community it serves. In other words, there can be no universal approach and each dental school or indeed curriculum must apply the outcomes in their own social, cultural and community settings.