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University of Pennsylvania

Introduction to Dental Medicine

University of Pennsylvania via Coursera


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The mouth is the window into human health. This course provides an overview of dental medicine to engage, educate, excite and assist you in improving the oral health of your patients and members of your community. We will review topics in dental medicine including scope of the field, what to expect in function, and some of the many ways that dysfunction may present for different patients. This will include discussions of mouth, jaw, and tooth anatomy, pathology, and treatment. We will talk about differences between patients and the unique roles that different members of the dental field may play in treatment depending on the patient and condition. This course starts from basic concepts and proceeds to review trends in current research and technology. We offer scientific background, some skills for patient evaluation and interview, and some suggestions for further learning for those interested in or involved in dental education.


  • Week 1 - Introduction to Dental Medicine and Its Relations to Public Health
    • In this course, you will learn about basic dental anatomy, how to evaluate a patient, and the causes and impact of oral diseases. We will use case examples and live demonstrations with patients to illustrate these points. Please note that some lectures in this course contain graphic medical images, including illustrations of the human body, oral cavity, early development, and photographs of medical conditions and deformities. Discretion is advised. The materials in this course are intended for education purposes only and are not intended to serve as professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please seek the advice of your dentist, physician, or other qualified health professional if you have any questions related to this material and its relevance to your health or that of someone else. Week 1 is your introduction to dental medicine! This includes oral health's relation to general health, sources of infection, modern technology in dentistry, and the public health impact of dental medicine. Let's get started!
  • Week 2 - Form and Function of the Oral Cavity
    • The modules in week 2 describe basic dental anatomy including embryology of the oral cavity, oral functions, basic tooth structure, and clinical implications of disease. Emphasis is placed on the clinical implications of these concepts and structures.
  • Week 3 - Comprehensive Evaluation of Dental Patient Needs
    • These modules will demonstrate the evaluation of extra- and intraoral structures. They also review the taking of a thorough medical history, with live patient demonstrations. This unit emphasizes the complex relationship between the systemic and oral health.
  • Week 4 - Most Common Dental Diseases Affecting Teeth and Periodontium
    • Diseases affecting the dentition and its surrounding structures have a profound influence on the patient and his/her health. Untreated conditions can result in severe pain, localized, and systemic infections and result in partial or complete loss of teeth.The etiology and the contributing factors to these diseases are discussed in detail.
  • Week 5 - Oral Mucosal Conditions: Diagnosis and Management
    • Possible oral and mucosal conditions include anomalies, ulcers, cancer and associated diseases. Some of these conditions have localized or idiopathic etiology; others are manifestations of systemic diseases of the body. Many times these oral conditions appear as the initial symptom of a systemic disease. The management of such conditions often involves an interdisciplinary approach to management involving the patient's dentist, physician, and medical specialists.
  • Week 6 - The Science of Pain Affecting the Intraoral and Extraoral Structures
    • These modules address oral and facial pain from common conditions to rare ones, including an exploration of the psychological aspects of oral and facial pain. Dental pain can originate not only from diseased dentition, but also from various disorders affecting the TMJ, nerves, soft and hard tissue infections and other sources. Dental pain can have underlying psychosocial etiology as well, and the diagnosis in such cases can be challenging.
  • Week 7 - Overview of Dental Specialties: Scope and Modalities of Treatment
    • Selected cases in dental medicine ranging from oral surgery to prosthetic reconstruction are discussed in the context of the important role of dental specialists. Each presenter discusses the challenges of focused dental treatment and presents cases with "before" and "after" documentation.

Taught by

Thomas Sollecito, Eric Stoopler and Uri Hangorsky


4.5 rating, based on 8 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at Coursera based on 1431 ratings

Start your review of Introduction to Dental Medicine

  • Xiomara Ballast
    I am Destist in the Dominican Republic . I very interesting courses of the profession. Always reading and writing in english. I take english class always saturday. Really is good identification with my profesion. Thanks you for opportunitive of study.
    Thanks for provide this course.this lecture is very nice for understood for students.actually I proudly say tis is nicely provide.
  • Asad Khan
    It is good one and I think it's lead to professional degree .once I know this is really helpful and working in practical life
  • Anonymous
    Is this course online? I want to study dentistry and complete a degree and be a certified dentist. Are you offering online courses?
  • Ahmadrsal
  • Mohamed Riza Alturihi
    You should washing teeth before sleeping and should drinking water before sleeping . Iam warray about teeth becous not cleen before sleeping
  • Francisco Javier Jiménez

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