DDS Program - Second Year
A major segment of the second-year curriculum is devoted to the acquisition of psychomotor skills and training in the basic procedures of patient treatment. In addition to preclinical courses, students spend significant time studying the basic sciences of microbiology and general pathology. Instruction is also provided in oral radiology, occlusal diagnosis and therapy, and biomaterials. The fall semester of the second year is perhaps the most demanding semester in the four-year curriculum. In addition to the two basic science courses, second-year students are enrolled in preclinical courses in operative dentistry, fixed prosthodontics, and removable prosthodontics.
During the second-year clinical experience, students work very closely with faculty members. The school's faculty-student ratio supports an environment of interaction and guidance; faculty members go through the procedures with students step-by-step, offering feedback and guidance.
In the fall semester of the second year, students spend one afternoon each week treating periodontal recall patients (patients who have completed periodontal therapy at the school and return for periodic evaluation). With the guidance of faculty, students review patients' medical histories, perform oral examinations, evaluate their periodontal status, and provide oral prophylaxis and home-care instructions. Second-year students also assist third- and fourth-year students, which allows second-year students to become familiar with the operation of the clinics and to observe the practical application of principles presented in their preclinical courses.
In the spring semester, students are assigned to one of four practice groups for the remainder of their clinical training. Students spend three half-days each week in the clinic and are assigned between four and eight patients with selective needs to begin the clinical experience in restorative dentistry. Under the guidance of faculty, students learn the basics of diagnosis, treatment planning, and local anesthesia as they prepare and restore teeth with amalgam, composite resin, and cast restorations and provide periodontal therapy.
In the summer of the second year, students are assigned a group of patients with a broad range of treatment needs and begin to provide comprehensive care. Under the guidance of the faculty, students evaluate both the general and oral health of each patient and formulate a treatment plan to meet their oral-health needs. Students provide care in the areas of periodontics, endodontics, operative dentistry, fixed prosthodontics, and removable prosthodontics. Students are responsible for meeting the treatment needs of their assigned patients.