Dental Anatomy for the Medical Practitioner
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The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has launched an initiative to build a competency-based oral health in medicine model curriculum. It is postulated that this initiative may have been born from the results of a recent publication and others like it. The findings suggested that current medical curricula may be inadequate to prepare medical practitioners to engage in oral health promotion as part of the overall health professional team. This material represents a self-contained dental anatomy course that has a proven record of success in teaching dental anatomy using online technology. Through self-study, self-review and subsequent assessment, medical students will learn sufficient dental anatomy to do cursory oral exams, distinguish normal from abnormal eruption patterns, determine approximate age, read and interpret literature pertaining to oral health and in general distinguish normal from abnormal tooth structure. This will be the common basis for all discussions related to caries and periodontal disease detection, prevention, and understanding of the disease processes.
This material was originally developed to provide self-study material for first-year dental students. Student feedback had indicated that the students would rather not have this material presented in lecture format (Reference, below). Therefore, future class lectures were no longer given and the only source of instruction was this module and self-study. Six years of data (3 years of classes with lectures and 3 years of classes of self-study only) indicated that there was no difference in student performance on assessments between the lecture and self-study formats (p<.05), (Reference, below). This is evidence of the ability of this online resource to achieve its intended outcome. Also, this material was used to help dental students successfully pass the Dental Anatomy and Occlusion section of the National Board of Dental Examiners test.
Reference: DeSchepper EJ, Brady D, Mirowski G, Reifeis P, Hohlt W. New Teaching Aids Developed At Indiana University School of Dentistry Educational Booth at Annual Meeting of the American Association of Dental Schools, Vancouver, British Columbia, March, 1999
An updated version of this publication is available at www.mededportal.org/publication/9721.
DeSchepper E. Dental anatomy for the medical practitioner. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2013;9:9303. http://dx.doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9303
Contains Information Suitable for Patient Education
- To identify and distinguish permanent and deciduous dentition from digital images.
- To identify individual teeth by name and Universal number from digital images.
- To appropriately use and understand dental anatomy and oral nomenclature.
- To identify and name major tooth structures.
- To determine biological age from eruption patterns.
- To distinguish normal from abnormal tooth structure.
- To describe the attachment mechanism of teeth to jaws and the major periodontal structures.
- Dentin, Periodontal Diseases, Building Oral Health Capacity (BOHC) Collection, Caries, Enamel
Prior Scholarly Dissemination
It was reviewed by a teacher of dental anatomy at another school as part of a peer review process required by the promotion and tenure process at Indiana University School of Dentistry.
This information is made available under the Creative Commons license.
- Report IX: Contemporary Issues in Medicine: Oral Health Education for Medical and Dental Students, Association of American Medical Colleges, June, 2008.
- DeSchepper EJ, Brady D, Mirowski G, Reifeis P, Hohlt W. New Teaching Aids Developed At Indiana University School of Dentistry Educational Booth at Annual Meeting of the American Association of Dental Schools, Vancouver, British Columbia, March, 1999.
Authors & Co-Authors
Edward DeSchepper, MAEd, DDS, MSD
Roseman University of Health Sciences
Sponsorship or Funding Source
Originally funded by $3000 institutional grant for faculty development at Indiana University School of Dentistry.
This project is also sponsored in part by funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration/Maternal Child Health Bureau grant #U44MC20223.