Graduate Programs

Student Learning Outcomes

Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.)

The Doctor of Dental Surgery degree program is four academic years in length. The curriculum includes 106 core courses and modules that are presented over eight semesters and three summer sessions.

All of the courses/modules are mandatory for awarding of the degree. The curriculum supports the attainment of the following list of competencies expected of a general dentist entering the profession. The Doctor of Dental Surgery graduate will be prepared to:

  1. assess and diagnose the child, adolescent, adult, geriatric, and special needs patient;
  2. perform treatment planning and case presentations for the child, adolescent, adult, and geriatric patient;
  3. communicate and collaborate with groups and individuals to promote oral and general health including strategies, resources, and interventions as appropriate for the prevention of oral disease in the community;
  4. control pain and anxiety through clinical pharmacology and management of related problems;
  5. prevent and manage dental and medical emergencies;
  6. restore defective and/or missing teeth to appropriate form, function, and esthetics in the child patient;
  7. diagnose and restore defective teeth to form, function, and esthetics in the adolescent, adult, and geriatric patient;
  8. provide fixed replacement of missing teeth to restore appropriate form, function, and esthetics in the uncomplicated adolescent, adult, and geriatric patient;
  9. provide restoration of uncomplicated partially edentulous patients with removable partial dentures to maintain oral function, health, comfort, and appearance;
  10. provide restoration of uncomplicated edentulous patients with complete dentures to maintain oral function, health, comfort, and appearance;
  11. diagnose and manage periodontal disorders;
  12. prevent, diagnose, and manage pulpal and periradicular diseases;
  13. diagnose and manage oral mucosal disorders;
  14. collect and assess diagnostic information to plan for and perform uncomplicated oral surgical procedures;
  15. recognize malocclusion in the primary, mixed, and permanent dentition and to identify from an acceptable problem list an uncomplicated case with limited developmental/acquired abnormality;
  16. describe the indications, contraindications, advantages, and disadvantages of space maintainers and demonstrate the basic skills necessary in making simple orthodontics appliances and space maintainers;
  17. discern and manage ethical issues and problems in dental practice;
  18. understand and apply the appropriate codes, rules, laws, and regulations that govern dental practice;
  19. demonstrate behavioral patient management and interpersonal skills;
  20. understand the fundamental elements of managing a dental practice;
  21. perform and supervise infection control procedures to prevent transmission of infectious diseases to patients, the dentist, the staff, and dental laboratory technicians;
  22. critically evaluate and incorporate new dental procedures/therapies into their practices when proven scientifically efficacious;
  23. recognize the role of lifelong learning and self-assessment in maintaining competency;
  24. use information technology resources; and
  25. detect, diagnose, assess the risk for, prevent, and manage dental caries.