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First Year Courses

Fall Semester

Survey of Gross and Neuroanatomy

The course is a survey of major anatomical structures of thorax and abdomen with limited study of upper limbs and introduction to neuroanatomy. Majority of the course is centered on dissection of the human body.

Histology (General and Oral)

The initial portion of the course emphasizes knowledge of the microscopic structure, including ultrastructure, of basic tissues and their organization into organ systems. This is followed by a study of the organs and systems of the body. The remainder of the course deals with a detailed study of the development and histology of structures of oral cavity.


This course provides an in depth view of the fundamental principles concerning function of the circulatory, respiratory, kidney, endocrine, gastrointestinal, muscle, and central nervous systems. Emphasis is placed on physiologic mechanisms for feedback control of function in humans. Overall, this course offers a strong physiology background as a science basis for clinical dentistry.

Dental Anatomy & Occlusion lecture and lab

Dental Anatomy and Occlusion is a 5 hour preclinical course offered by the Department of Diagnostic Sciences, Prosthodontics, and Restorative Dentistry to 1st year dental students. It is comprised of a lecture and laboratory series designed to familiarize 1st year students with the general anatomical characteristics of the human oral cavity. External and internal crown and root morphology of both permanent and primary dentitions is presented in detail. Emphasis is placed on the prevention of periodontal disease and dental caries based on external crown form and function of occluding tooth surfaces. Technical skills utilizing dental wax to recreate anatomical crown morphology and function are developed. Dental Anatomy and Occlusion provides the student with the basic didactic information and technical skills prerequisite for those advanced preclinical courses which follow in Restorative Dentistry.

Correlated Sciences

Student exposure to actual case reports from our dental clinics. Generally, lectures are presented in topic form and deal with pathological or medical/dental entities. As a disease topic is developed, pertinent basic science principles are introduced and discussed. An attempt is always made to ensure that course format is relevant to clinical dentistry.

Oral Radiology I

This didactic course covers radiation physics, radiation biology, radiation safety/protection, imaging theory, dental and maxillofacial radiographic techniques, and interpretation of normal structures and common disease processes using radiographs. This must be completed in a satisfactory manner prior to enrollment in Oral Radiology II.

Spring Semester

Head & Neck Anatomy

This course is a detailed study of head and neck anatomy including dissection of the head and neck region with special emphasis on cranial nerve neuroanatomy and oral-facial region related to clinical correlations for dentistry.


The course covers the fundamentals of biochemistry and molecular biology with special emphasis given to areas applicable to dentistry. Topics include cell biology, chemical principles of biological systems and the structure, function and metabolism of amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids. Clinical correlates include sickle cell anemia and hemoglobinopathies, blood clotting disorders, collagen diseases, diabetes, nutritional disorders, diseases of amino acid and lipid metabolism, molecular basis of genetic diseases, Alzheimers Disease, spongiform encephalopathies, the biochemistry of HIV/AIDS.

Preclinical Operative Dentistry I, lecture and lab

Lecture and laboratory series that is designed to introduce the first year student to the basic theory and techniques used in Operative Dentistry. The study of the physical properties of the dental materials utilized is included. Emphasis is placed on preservation of tooth structure from further destruction by dental disease. Technical skills used in the placement of composite resin and amalgam restorations are developed.

Intro to Clinical Dentistry I

This course is designed to introduce first year students to the clinical system by teaching the fundamentals of dental assisting and providing the framework for students to begin assisting 3rd and 4th year dental students in the fall and spring semesters. An integral part of this process is provision of information regarding clinical policy as stated in the ULSD Clinic Manual. Application of this information will be required throughout the clinical curriculum.

Growth, Development & Aging

Provides the students with basic information about biophysiologic and psychosocial patterns of growth, development and aging and demonstrates the importance of these phenomena to the practice of Dentistry.

Periodontics I

This is an introductory course in clinical periodontology. Periodontology is the science and study of the investing and supporting tissues holding the teeth in the jaws.

Preventive Dentistry

This course is designed to integrate with other courses in the DMD curriculum, primarily cariology and periodontics. While these courses stress a scientific approach to these disciplines, this course develops the clinical preventive aspects of those fields so that the student can apply the information to a clinical patient and to the community. Oral disease etiology and prevention is presented in a logical and sequential manner, emphasizing both theoretical and practical applications and methodologies. Integral to this is a prevention oriented treatment plan that includes effective behavior modification skills such as dietary counseling and oral hygiene reinstructions. Emphasis is placed on a comprehensive approach to primary prevention of the plaque diseases for the benefit of the individual patient, although community preventive measures are also presented. Students are also given information relative to application of the material in the ULSD clinical setting.


This course focuses on the basic concepts in the etiology, pathogenesis and sequelae of dental caries. The disease is approached from epidemiological, morphological, histological, biochemical, microbiological and immunological perspectives.

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