Dental Medicine, DMD

Degree: Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD)

Program Overview

The program will accomplish its goals through academic work in four themes and two threads, which are woven throughout the four years of the program. The program includes a variety of educational formats to deliver the curricula, including problem-based learning sessions, team-based learning, independent study, seminars, extensive hands-on preclinical simulation education and dental procedural skills development, experiential learning opportunities, traditional lectures, laboratories, standardized patient experiences, and patient-based comprehensive care. An important goal of the curriculum is to help students become better prepared in independent learning, interprofessional practice, critical thinking skills, and the use of evidence. The curriculum includes the following themes and threads:


Health and Well-Being

This theme contains all curricula -- both didactic and clinical -- that apply to health and the normal structure and functioning of the body and of the oral complex. The traditional content areas of physiology, biochemistry, anatomy, histology, among other dental science classes, are integrated through cases to form a better bridge between the basic sciences and the clinical sciences.

Disease Processes

The Disease Processes theme includes content related to general and oral diseases. These topics are often melded with healthy structure and function content to provide students with a global perspective of the implications of disease on usual functioning.

Restoration of Health

This theme contains content related to therapies necessary for treatment of medical disease and dental disease. A focus on restoring oral health is accomplished through virtual reality clinical skills training, training on models and progression to comprehensive dental care in conjunction with didactic knowledge.

Maintenance of Health

The Maintenance of Health theme focuses on a curriculum which explores strategies for preserving health through general and oral health therapies, patient education, disease risk assessment, and disease prevention. This theme provides a viewpoint from which students can develop life-long care plans for their patients.



This thread that runs throughout the four-year program supports student growth in skills in clinical decision making. Students develop an understanding of what scientific evidence is, how to make clinical decisions based on the best available evidence and to value scientific discovery in all aspects of dentistry.


This thread contains curriculum for the development of students as ethical professionals and caring practitioners who are stewards of oral health of the individual patient, the community, and society. An important focus in the Leadership curriculum is professionalism and character development. The Leadership curriculum also focuses on patient and risk management as well as a strong one-year practice management curriculum, and integration and application of the practice management curriculum within student's clinical preceptor groups.


Year 1

This year includes curriculum describing normal healthy functioning and disease processes. Basic science content is taught in the context of clinical cases. Foundational work in understanding human structure and function is paired with learning about disease. Students participate in 3D mixed reality learning of anatomy using HoloLens and HoloAnatomy software. Dental clinical sciences study the foundational elements of oral health. Preclinical simulation education and dental procedural skills development include dental anatomy, masticatory dynamics/occlusion and operative dentistry. Students complete the first year Interprofessional team-based and community service based Collaborative Practice I course. 

Year 2

This year continues with an integrated approach to curricula in health and disease with an emphasis on the development of dental clinical skills. Digital dental technologies are incorporated into the second year curriculum with digital radiology and CADCAM. Students participate in 3D mixed reality learning of anatomy using HoloLens and HoloAnatomy software. Further development of students as clinicians proceeds with their involvement in the clinical preceptor groups. Students will make a transition to increasing patient-centered clinical care as they demonstrate competency in clinical skills and didactic knowledge.

Year 3

This year includes didactic work related to advancing levels of knowledge and clinical experience. Students spend time in didactic classes that are directly related to clinical practice and in rotations to specialty clinical areas while accomplishing comprehensive patient care.

Year 4

Students gain clinical experience in the Comprehensive Care Clinics and finish didactic work which may include enrichment courses. They participate in practice management activities of their preceptor group, developing critical skills for general practice dentistry.