The University at Buffalo four-year DDS curriculum educates our students to become strong clinicians and compassionate health care providers. During these four years, students work both their class cohort and faculty to obtain skills required to deliver comprehensive oral health care.
The major focus of the first-year program is the acquisition of a thorough understanding of normal function of all organ systems. This serves as the basis for the understanding of abnormal development and pathology, which are presented later in the curriculum.
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.
In the third year, study of most clinical subjects continues, with courses in oral pathology and radiology, pharmacology, oral medicine, and anesthesia. Lecture courses lessen in quantity, and the clinical practice of dentistry begins to take precedence in time and effort. Third-year students spend three full days (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) in the clinic each week, with the remaining two days spent in classes and labs.
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.