Innovation in Dental Education

The Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine curriculum has adopted an integrative model that implements a symptoms-based approach for learning throughout its behavioral, biomedical, and clinical courses.  Students are trained through the inclusion of symptoms most prevalent and identifiable and/or treatable by general dental practitioners.  This model includes exposure to advanced techniques or skills used by specialists, and it focuses on preparing students with the current best practices, skills, knowledge, and professional values to succeed as a general practitioner.  Curriculum in support of the embedded Community Health Certificate (CHC) is taught within the Dental Society, Community and the Individual (DSCI) courses.

There are five tracts in which the DMD and CHC curriculum is categories:

Dental Scientific Principles of Medicine (DSPM)

The introduction of integrated medical information by systems important to the delivery of dentistry, such as cardiac, pulmonary, digestive and oral pathology are presented.  This tract is taken Year 1 – Year 2.

Dental Society, Community and the Individual (DSCI)

NOTE: This course supports the embedded Community Health Certificate curriculum.

The concepts of social determinants of health, social justice, principles of health promotion, epidemiology, research methodology, administrative policy, financial policy are covered in Dental Society, Community and the Individual.  Additionally student engage in a practicum with the community as a partner, propose, perform and report on an individual research project, and produce a grand rounds style presentation or case report. The topics support the embedded community health certificate curriculum. This tract is taken Year 1 – Year 4.

Dental Spanish (DSPA)

Spanish conversation and skills emphasizing use of Spanish medical and dental terminology.  This tract is 
taken Year 1 – Year 3.

Dental Colloquium (DCOL)

The concepts of ethics, controversies in dentistry, wellness, critical thinking, cultural, and practice administration is introduced during Dental Colloquium. This tract will be taken Year 1-Year 4.

Dental Skills (DDSK)

This tract of curriculum teaches the basic skills used by the general dentist.  It is block presented by discipline, incorporating all sciences being utilized within each discipline.  Procedures include items such as radiology, anesthesiology, diagnosis, treatment planning, cariology, restorative dentistry, prevention, periodontics, endodontics, fixed and removable prosthodontics, implants, orthodontics, oral surgery, sports and sleep apnea, and the temporomandibular joint.  After fundamentals, clinical practice is emphasized.  This tract is taken Year 1 –Year 4.

Dental Elective (DLEC)

Time is allotted in this curriculum to pursue independent investigation and research, and in depth exploration and practice in areas of personal dental concentration.  This tract is taken Year 3 –Year 4.