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 EducationDDS ProgramDoctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)Program DetailsFourth Year     September 2, 2014  

DDS Program



DDS Program - Fourth Year

During the first three years of the curriculum, students have little option in the coursework they must complete. The fourth-year selective program allows students to pursue their career interests in dentistry or to begin to focus on a specialty area that may or may not be pursued after graduation. Fourth-year students select courses from a wide range of clinical, basic, and behavioral sciences, based on their individual interests. Students enroll in a minimum of 2 credit hours or two courses of selectives in the fall and spring semesters.

Minors Program

The minors program is an option that allows fourth-year students to focus their course selections and gain additional clinical experience in specific areas of individual interest. The term "minor" is used to maintain a clear distinction from every graduate’s "major," which is general dentistry. Current minors include endodontics, fixed prosthodontics, oral diagnostic science, pediatric dentistry, and periodontics. Students admitted to one of these minors take a set program of clinical and didactic courses and work more closely with the faculty of a particular department. Interested students apply to participating departments at the end of the third year.

Clinical Experience

In the fourth year, the time devoted to clinical patient care is expanded. Fourth-year students spend five full days in the clinic each week, with classes and labs scheduled before clinic at 7:30 or 8:00 a.m. or after clinic at 4:00 p.m. Students remain in the operatories assigned for their use at the end of the second year. Fourth-year students provide all phases of dental care to between twenty-two and twenty-six patients. At this level, students take on the major responsibility for determining and meeting their patients’ treatment needs, and learn to examine, diagnose, and develop treatment plans; they also schedule care for their patients in an efficient and productive manner. The objective of this fourth-year clinical experience is to simulate private practice and facilitate the transition to the responsibilities of a licensed practitioner.

Off-Campus Clinical Experience

Continued rotations through local hospital dental clinics provide additional clinical experience. In the fourth year, the hospital experience is broadened and students have the opportunity to participate in rounds and clinical conferences.



As a proud member of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), the University at Buffalo is committed to discovery, both basic and applied research, development and scholarship particularly related to oral health and disease.



Established in 1892, the School of Dental Medicine continues to educate general practitioners, specialists and biomedical scientists in the art and science of oral health through our comprehensive accredited programs.


The tradition of practicing dentists taking time to teach is as old as dentistry itself; the central role of practitioners as faculty is as old as the earliest organized dental schools.


The UB Smile Team promotes dental education and provides free oral health care in areas of the world that lack adequate access to treatment. 


Since 1997 the UB Dental has operated a mobile dental unit (MDU) serving Chautauqua County in Western New York. The MDU averages approximately 3,100 patient visits per year. Information call 716-560-5127.



Each year, volunteers guide hundreds of children through the award-winning Teddy Bear Clinic and to dental cleanings and treatment at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine's annual "Give Kids a Smile Day."

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Buffalo Outreach and Community Assistance (BOCA) is a SDM organization administered by dental students and dedicated to providing care to underserved areas. Students and faculty deliver much needed dental treatment to such locations as Appalachia, Belize, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Guatemala, Mexico and Vietnam and as well as in the Buffalo area.

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