Penn Dental Medicine

Academic Programs & Admissions

Second-Year Curriculum

The second-year curriculum is applied to understanding the pathology of the oral cavity and the principles of diagnosis and treatment. The curriculum includes fundamental courses in pathology (an integration of general and oral pathology), pharmacology, and principles of medicine. The preclinical restorative dentistry course is a continuation of the program offered in the first year and focuses on prosthetic therapy; it also includes additional rotations in the Virtual Reality Laboratory. Other didactic, laboratory, and clinical experiences are initiated in anesthesia and pain control, community health, endodontics, orthodontics, and periodontics. A course entitled “Introduction to Clinical Dentistry” is offered in the second year; the purpose is to facilitate the transition from the classroom to the clinic by allowing students to observe and practice the provision of services in various clinical departments. Beginning in October, afternoons are set aside for courses in the Selectives Program.

Key: (L= Lecture, B = Laboratory, S = Seminar, C = Clinic, R = Rotation)

Second-Year Courses Course Type


The purpose of this course is to provide students with the knowledge of growth and development, concentrating on child somatic, craniofacial, and dental growth and development. The students build a solid foundation along the lines of diagnosing problems and understanding the etiology of malocclusion and space maintenance.


Complete Dentures L and Complete Dentures B

Upon completion of this lecture and lab course, the student should have an in-depth understanding of the following: 1) The need for therapy in and restoration of the edentulous arch with complete prostheses. 2) The significance of avoiding the edentulous condition in a patient wherever possible. 3) The dental materials which are used at the different stages of complete dentures therapy. 4) The concepts and techniques of the clinical steps involved in the treatment of the edentulous patient. This course will provide students with a forum for performing selected sequential clinical and laboratory procedures required during the construction of complete dentures.


Anesthesia/Pain Control/Emergency

The purpose of this course is to bridge the gap between basic sciences and clinical practice, enabling the clinician to make intelligent, safe decisions regarding anesthesia, pain control and emergency medicine.


Removable Parts/Dentures

A combination of lectures and laboratory exercises provides the dental student with an understanding of the partially edentulous condition and its classification, as well as the diagnosis, treatment planning and treatment of partially edentulous patients with RPDs. This course is designed to provide students with the terminology, concepts and principles necessary for case selection, design, construction of, and patient therapy with conventional RPDs.


Community Oral Health II: Local & Global Public Health

Lectures, seminars and community experiences provide students with foundation knowledge in general principles of public health and community health, with specific application to the following dental public health concepts: access to care, cost, quality of care and international health. Students complete community experiences that provide foundation experiences in developing and implementing community oral health promotion activities.


Pathology is a course that will apply what students have already learned to the study of disease. It is an essential link between the basic and clinical sciences concerned with the mechanisms of disease (e.g., inflammation, neoplasia, immunopathology) and the disease processes that students will encounter during their careers in dentistry. While the emphasis will be on oral pathology, one must also be familiar with systemic diseases that may impact on the health of the patients.


Sophomore Manual Dexterity (Virtual Reality) Laboratory

The objective of this course is to develop specific psychomotor and cognitive skills through the use of virtual-reality-based training that will enhance and augment future skills acquired in the Fixed Prosthetics Course. Technical skills are developed in crown preparation through the learning of basic extracoronal preparation with a high-speed handpiece and advanced simulation. Dental and occlusal terminology and anatomy will be applied to the theory of all basic tooth preparations. Suitable fixed periodontic skills, knowledge, and ergonomics will be emphasized for the successful transition into the preclinical crown and bridge course.


Fixed Prosthetics L and 623 Fixed Prosthetics B

The overall purpose of the lecture and laboratory portions of the course is to introduce the dental student with the fundamental didactic and technical knowledge, concepts, and skills needed to diagnose and treat oral pathology and/or unesthetic oral conditions that may require occlusal, and/or prosthodontic therapy, relating the treatment sequencing, methods and outcomes to each other and to other dental disciplines.



Pharmacology is both a basic science and a clinical science. It builds on the foundation of anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, and pathology and bridges the gap into clinical dentistry. This course in basic pharmacology will give the students a better understanding of drugs, interpreting complicated drug/medical histories, and understanding drug reactions.



Dental Auxiliary Utilization for the sophomore class builds on the dental assisting skills the student has mastered in DAU 541. In 641, the student moves on from assisting to Expanded Functions Dental Auxiliary skills that have been taught in the General Restorative Dentistry course. Goals of the course include the goals of DAU 541, as well as the development of skills to restore prepared teeth, cement and fabricate temporary crowns, and obtaining clinical patient records of third- and fourth-year student patients. Emphasis is increased on the student's independent completion of patient-centered tasks and preparation for becoming primary providers in the third year.

Principles of Medicine

The purpose of this course is to expose students to clinical aspects of medicine and their impact on dental treatment for patients with medical conditions that may directly impact on dental care. This course will bridge the gap between the basic sciences and the clinical aspects of medicine, as well as explain principles of medicine as they pertain to the provision of dental care.



The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the basic principles of root canal therapy (technical aspects) and introduce them to the diagnostic elements of root canal procedures. Students are introduced to endodontic techniques under simulated conditions using Columbia teeth and extracted teeth.


Diagnostic Radiology

This course is intended to supplement the basic science Pathology course by radiographically showing dissimilar pathoses that appear similar on X-rays.



This course will prepare the student for the practice of periodontics within the context of a general dentistry practice. Emphasis will be placed on 1) the biological basis for the treatment of periodontal disease as well as its pathogenesis, treatment and prognosis, and 2) the integration of periodontics within the practice of general dentistry.


Adjunctive Orthodontics

This course is designed to expose the student to basic orthodontic laboratory and clinical procedures and encourages the development of technical abilities in banding, bonding, wire bending, and removable appliance fabrication.


Introduction to Penn Dental Medicine Clinics/Practice Management

Lectures, seminars and clinical experiences provide students with foundation knowledge regarding the policies and procedures governing clinical practice in both the Primary Care Units and specialty clinics at the Penn Dental Medicine.

The Robert Schattner Center
University of Pennsylvania
School of Dental Medicine
240 South 40th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6030