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Curriculum First Year

The first year of the curriculum introduces students to the concepts of human biology as they pertain to medicine in general and to dental medicine in particular. The curriculum reflects an emphasis on integration of scientific information by grouping courses into integrative course streams rather than discipline specific courses. This includes studies relating to the principles of oral disease prevention, patient management, and physical examination. A major segment of the curriculum focuses on the structure and function of oral tissues and contiguous structures. During this time, students will also begin an integrated preclinical course in restorative dentistry combining several disciplines (e.g., dental anatomy and occlusion, operative dentistry and dental materials), including extensive use of the School’s Advanced Simulation Laboratory. Clinical experiences begin upon entry into the DMD program and increase with each succeeding year. In the first year, students begin clinical rotations in oral medicine, periodontics, health promotion, radiology, and their assigned clinical groups. Students assist D3 and D4 students on the clinic floor as part of the year long DAU first year course where they begin to learn and implement the fundamentals of team based care. A three year long course of Professional Practitioner Development, which explores concepts in professionalism, ethics, and practice management, is started in the first year and continues throughout the second and third years. Additionally, the concepts and practices in community oral health and public health are introduced to create the foundation for our comprehensive, four year clinical and didactic program in community and special care.

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

First-Year Courses
Foundation Sciences I

Foundation Sciences I is aimed at providing students with a thorough understanding of the basic principles of molecular biology and general biochemistry; the biochemical concepts underlying healthy metabolism, nutrition and selected disease states and comprehension at an advanced level of selected topics in cell biology.

Foundation Sciences II

The course is structured to provide basic information about the evolutionary relationship, structure, physiology and molecular biology of prokaryotic cells and viruses, and basic mechanisms of immunology in relation to oral health. Emphasis will also be placed on how oral microorganisms participate in plaque/biofilm formation, caries and periodontal disease. Primary objectives related to the clinical setting include an understanding of the basis of the selective inhibition of antibiotics and the development of resistance, understanding the basis of serological tests and immunization and interpretation of radiographic evidence for caries and periodontal disease.

Biological Systems I

Biological Systems I is multi-disciplinary, module-based course. Module 1 will provide the student with a basic understanding of the molecular, tissue patterning and functional mechanisms that give rise to the human form. Clinical aberrations, including craniofacial dysmorphisms, will be presented to illustrate what happens when normal developmental mechanisms are disrupted. Module 2 will provide the student with a thorough understanding of the development, biology, morphology and function of mucosal epithelium, connective tissue, skin and salivary glands. Module 3 combines perspectives from neurocytology, neurophysiology and pharmacology to help students develop a pre-clinical understanding of neuronal conduction and coordination as applied to the function and pharmacology of the somatic and autonomic nervous systems. Clinical correlations will be used where appropriate.

Introduction to Professionalism, Patient Management, and Community

This course will provide foundational knowledge on the doctor patient relationship, medical history skills and the basics of dental orofacial physical exam. The first part of the course will include lectures outlining the doctor patient relationship, components and application of the medical history. The second part of the course will include lectures outlining the components and application of the physical exam, including vital signs, cranial nerve exam, head and neck examination, and examination of the heart and lungs. The third and final part of the course consists of 2 practical workshops in small groups where you will be required to practice taking medical histories and performing various components of the physical examination. The second rotation will occur in the Oral Diagnosis clinic where students will take a medical history and perform a physical examination on a PDM admissions patient.

Biological Systems II
Module 1 will include a series of lectures focused on the basic principles of radiology. These include sessions on radiobiology, radiation medicine and technique. A hands-on component will provide the student with experience in taking radiographs. Module 2 will present a detailed survey of osteology of the skull, cervical spine and laryngeal skeleton in a series of interactive lectures and small-group conferences. Appreciation of the three-dimensional anatomy of the cranium, temporomandibular joint and the orofacial skeletal complex will be reinforced with integrative presentations of radiographic anatomy to introduce some clinical correlations. Module 3 will present a basic knowledge of bone based on developmental, anatomical, histological, radiological, molecular and functional perspectives. Teach the fundamental principles of cell-cell interactions, extracellular matrix deposition and mineralization related to bone homeostasis, remodeling and healing. Concepts will be emphasized with radiological presentation of bone diseases using different imaging modalities.
Advanced Simulation

The objective of the Freshman Advanced Simulation Laboratory course is to introduce and develop specific psychomotor and cognitive skills through the use of virtual reality based training that will enhance and augment future skills acquired in the preclinical General Restorative Dentistry, Operative Dentistry course. Technical skills are developed through learning preparations with a high-speed handpiece, low speed handpiece, and dental hand instruments in a virtual reality, advanced simulation environment.

Suitable operative skills, knowledge, and ergonomics will be emphasized for the successful transition into the preclinical operative course. Dental terminology and principles of tooth preparation will be applied to the theory of all the basic preparations. Suitable operative skills, knowledge, and ergonomics will be emphasized for the successful transition into the preclinical operative course.

Dental Development, Anatomy, Occlusion and Cariology

The objective of the Freshman Dental Development and Anatomy course is to provide foundational knowledge regarding Tooth development, Primary dentition, Permanent dentition, Tooth numbering systems, Tooth classification (Incisors, Canines, Premolars, Molars), Set Traits (traits between Primary and Permanent dentition), Class traits (traits for each kind of tooth), Arch traits (traits of maxillary vs. mandibular), and Type traits (differences between teeth within the Class).

Dental morphology relative to Operative dentistry procedures will be discussed. This knowledge will be called upon throughout all four years of the dental curriculum. This course includes lecture and laboratory component where waxing of teeth will be done to reinforce didactic material.

Dental Auxiliary Utilization I

Designed to teach the first-year student four-handed dental assisting technique which will be used to assist third and fourth year students in clinical practice. In addition to exploring assisting technique, skills such as patient communication, team building, and record keeping are taught. Students gain clinical experience and assist in the same procedures that they are encountering in GRD, thus forming a clinical bridge to pre-clinical learning. Lectures, a written exercise, a lab, clinical rotations and completion of a clinical exam make up the didactic portions of the Pass/Fail course.

Foundation Sciences III
Foundation Sciences III is the first course in the curriculum that focuses on the underlying cellular and molecular basis of disease and is a critical component of a larger subject commonly known as Pathology. In its simplest terms, Pathology is the study of the structural, biochemical and functional abnormalities that develop within cells, tissues and organs resulting in disease. The disease process forms the core of pathology and includes: etiology, pathogenesis, lesions and clinical manifestations. Traditionally, Pathology is divided into general and systemic pathology. FSIII is the first of two courses (the other being FSIV) that collectively comprise the topic of general pathology. Specifically, FSIII will focus on: (1) the reactions of cells and tissues to abnormal stimuli leading to either adaptation or cell injury and (2) pathogenic mechanisms responsible for disease development. Pathogenesis refers to the sequence of events that ultimately lead to the expression of disease, i.e., lesions and clinical manifestations. The underlying cause of disease may result from one (or more) of the following pathogenic mechanisms: inflammation, immunity, vascular disturbances, abnormalities of growth, infection and/or genetic alterations. In addition to cell injury, FSIII will focus on the first three of these mechanisms. The concepts presented in this course will prepare the student for understanding specific diseases as they are presented as part of systemic and organ-specific disease.
Foundation Sciences IV

This series of lectures will present relevant and important infectious diseases and their treatments. We will explore the mechanisms used by bacteria to infect cells and present two major classes of bacteria, the Streptococcus and Staphylococcus. We will also introduce odontogenic infections important to the oral cavity. Gastrointestinal infections, sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis and bacterial endocarditis will also be presented. There will be an introduction to antibiotics. This will be followed by a set of lectures on viruses with oral manifestations: these will include herpes, hepatitis, influenza, rhino, oxsackie, measles, mumps, rubella viruses and treatments using antiviral drugs. Highlighted will be HIV and opportunistic infections of AIDS. Next, fungal infections and treatments will be presented. Finally, infection control in dentistry will be featured.

Biological Systems III

Biological Systems III combines the study of the general principles of anatomy, histology, and physiology of the human vascular, muscular and neuroanatomic systems, with an emphasis on the orofacial complex. The goals of the course are to provide students with a sound knowledge of normal biology and organization of those organ systems and to examine and discuss examples of pathophysiological conditions. Students should subsequently be able to recognize the anatomical structures, identify tissue types, and explain the principal physiological functions of the vasculature, muscle and cranial nerves. The third module also includes clinical assessment of cranial nerve function.

Biological Systems IV
Cadaveric Anatomy of the Head and Neck is designed to facilitate integration of the gross anatomy learned systemically in the Biological Science track through the meticulous regional dissection of a human cadaver. In addition to enabling visualization of both anatomical structures and their clinically significant relationships in a three-dimensional context, the course provides initiation into the tactile manipulation of the human body.
Behavioral Sciences I - Health Promotions

Lectures, seminars, clinical sessions and community field experiences are provided so that students gain the necessary knowledge and skills in oral health promotion and disease prevention activities with individuals, communities and populations. Course topics include discussion of the philosophy, modalities, rationale and evaluation of health promotion and disease preventive activities related to caries, periodontal diseases and oral cancer. Focus is placed on assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of strategies designed to target the individual patient, the community and a population perspective.

Periodontics I

This course will be presented in two parts. The first part presents basic biology concepts applied to the healthy and diseased periodontium. Macroscopic and microscopic changes of the periodontium will be featured as well as how these are altered by disease, as well as the biological basis for etiology, pathogenesis and epidemiology of periodontal diseases. The second part consists of presenting the basic clinical procedures for diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of periodontal diseases by lectures, pre- clinical labs and clinical rotations.

Dental Auxiliary Utilization II

Designed to teach the first-year student four-handed dental assisting technique which will be used to assist third and fourth year students in clinical practice. In addition to exploring assisting technique, skills such as patient communication, team building, and record keeping are taught. Students gain clinical experience and assist in the same procedures that they are encountering in GRD, thus forming a clinical bridge to pre-clinical learning. Lectures, a written exercise, a lab, clinical rotations and completion of a clinical exam make up the didactic portions of the Pass/Fail course.

Operative Dentistry I

The objective of Freshman Operative Dentistry Lecture course is to give foundation knowledge of operative instrumentation, operative dentistry terminology, principles of cavity preparations, and the basics of single tooth restorations.

Dental Materials

Dental Materials is offered by the Department of Preventive and Restorative Sciences at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Dental Medicine. The course will present the basic principles of materials and mechanics (Module I) and applied dental materials (Module II).

Selectives I
First year elective courses and continuing education
Hematology and Laboratory Medicine

This course will present the students with an introduction, as well as sound knowledge of the hematology system, laboratory medicine and essential micronutrients; with an extensive study of the most common pathologies related to lack of nutrients as well as the hematology system.

There will be an explicit emphasis on relationship of the above to dental practice. We have assembled an experienced group of lecturers, including experts in oral medicine and oral pathology.

Introduction to Pharmacology
As your dental career progresses along, you will be treating patients for a variety of dental problems. At a recent AADS (American Association of Dental Schools) meeting, one dentist (who happened to be a dean) suggested that basic science training was not integral to the overall training of the dental clinician and courses like physiology and pharmacology should be “watered down”. One could agree with that philosophy only if dental licenses clearly stated that dentists could not use any drugs and treated only ASA category I patients, who have no systemic diseases and who are not taking any medications. Of course, this would be an impossible way to practice dentistry. Even though the average clinician may not realize it, he or she is using that basic science education on every patient. It is thus of utmost importance that you understand the underlying principles that govern the action of drugs!
Introduction to Caries Risk Assessment

This course expands students’ experiences in health promotion, caries risk assessment and the electronic health record (AxiUm), as well as treatment planning and restorative skills in order to gain additional foundational knowledge, practical experiences, skills and values in comprehensive oral health care.

Restorative Microscopy I

The use of enhanced magnification with loupes is a widely accepted standard practice to perform restorative dentistry. The dental operating microscope can provide superior visual performance. For the endodontic specialty, the dental microscope has demonstrated significantly higher success rates compared to loupes. The success of endodontic therapy

utilizing the dental microscope suggests that the dental clinician may achieve better outcomes with microscope implementation in restorative dentistry. This introductory course will provide each participant the ability to learn essential restorative microscope utilization techniques in combination with dental loupes for optimal precision dentistry.

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