The first-year curriculum emphasizes the study of normal structure and function of the abdomen, head, neck, oral cavity, thorax and upper extremities. Fall classes focus on general and oral histology as well as biochemistry and nutrition, while the spring curriculum includes gross anatomy and neuroanatomy courses.
Students will also be introduced to dental anatomy and occlusion, dental materials and operative dentistry as part of a major preclinical sequence.
The second-year curriculum is comprised of three main elements.
- the development of confidence associated with patient contact, including ethically and legally sound decision-making
- the preparation for the practice of dentistry in a comprehensive clinical setting
- the scientific study of human organ systems in health and disease
The third-year curriculum continues the study of clinical subjects. It is also the beginning of the clinical practice of dentistry, with a major focus on the development of clinical aptitude. Students join one of four comprehensive care clinics and practice general dental care.
The fourth-year curriculum brings a major increase in both the quantity and the complexity of the dental care students perform, including site visits to dental practices in the surrounding community. Additionally, capstone courses of advanced comprehensive care and science in dental practice help students synthesize all they have learned in their clinical and research experiences.