Original Publication
Open Access

Dental Anatomy for the Medical Practitioner

Published: January 8, 2013 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9303

Included in this publication:

  • Anterior Teeth.ppt
  • BOHC Toolkit.pdf
  • General Assessment Key.docx
  • General Asssessment.docx
  • Instructor's Guide.doc
  • Molars.ppt
  • Premolars.ppt
  • Primary Dentition and Eruption.ppt
  • Terminlogy-Nomenclature and the Oro-Facial Complex.ppt

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications. An updated version of this publication is available at www.mededportal.org/publication/9721.


Introduction: 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. Methods: 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. Results: This material has been presented for 6 years to first-year dental students. For the first 3 years this material was presented in lecture format, but student feedback had indicated that the students would rather have this material provided in a self-study material. 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). Discussion: 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.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this session, learners will be able to:

  1. Identify and distinguish permanent and deciduous dentition from digital images.
  2. Identify individual teeth by name and Universal number from digital images.
  3. Appropriately use and understand dental anatomy and oral nomenclature.
  4. Identify and name major tooth structures.
  5. Determine biological age from eruption patterns.
  6. Distinguish normal from abnormal tooth structure.
  7. Describe the attachment mechanism of teeth to jaws and the major periodontal structures.

Author Information

  • Edward DeSchepper, MAEd, DDS, MSD: Roseman University of Health Sciences

None to report.

This research was funded by a $3000 institutional grant for faculty development at Indiana University School of Dentistry in addition to funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration/Maternal Child Health Bureau grant # U44MC20223.

Prior Presentations
DeSchepper EJ, Brady D, Mirowski G, Reifeis P, Hohlt W. New Teaching Aids Developed At Indiana University School of Dentistry Educational. Booth presented at: Annual Meeting of the American Association of Dental Schools; March 1999; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


DeSchepper E. Dental anatomy for the medical practitioner. MedEdPORTAL. 2013;9:9303. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9303

This publication is co-sponsored by the American Dental Education Association.