The Department of Orofacial Sciences is a new and exciting academic and clinical enterprise, the role of which is teaching and practicing the diagnosis and treatment of localized and systemic oral diseases and developmental conditions, and advancing knowledge about them.
Several clinical disciplines comprise this Department including Craniofacial Anomalies, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry and Periodontology. Cross-disciplinary clinical, teaching and research activities characterize this Department, which benefits from strong interactions within the Dental School, other campus Schools and the Medical Center. Educational activities are broad, providing both predoctoral and postdoctoral students alike with a strong basis of knowledge and clinical experience.
Research in the Department covers a broad spectrum of basic, translational and clinical sciences that complement the clinical activities of the Department. These include extramurally funded studies of oral mucosal and salivary gland diseases, including those common in people with HIV infection (conducted through the Oral AIDS Center), oral cancer, xerostomia, Sjögren’s Syndrome (the Sjögren’s International Collaborative Clinical Alliance), and new methods for diagnosing and treating periodontal diseases. In addition, clinical research studies assess the effect of orthodontic treatment on the form and function of the craniofacial complex, new approaches to imaging, the interrelationships of the neuromuscular systems on muscle function and bone growth, and seek to understand the variations in outcome of interdisciplinary treatment of patients with craniofacial anomalies. Studies of enamel and dentin formation are key to new initiatives for tissue engineering of tooth structures, as well as for understanding dental pathologies such as fluorosis and amelogenesis imperfecta.
Patient treatment services provide the highest level of patient care focusing on the latest and most effective treatment methods. The Oral Medicine Center (formerly known as the Stomatology Clinical Center) specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of oral soft tissue and salivary gland diseases and serves as the basis for predoctoral student education. The Oral Pathology Diagnostic Laboratory, one of the largest in Northern California, offers world-class tissue diagnostic services for dental and medical practitioners. Orthodontics provides state-of-the-art care for children and adults with dental malocclusions. Pediatric Dentistry provides primary and tertiary care for dental diseases and prevention for infants and children. Periodontology focuses on the diagnosis and management of the various periodontal conditions and provides treatment with osseo-integrated implants. The Center for Craniofacial Anomalies provides multidisciplinary consultation and comprehensive treatment of children with various birth defects.
Postgraduate programs in Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontology and Oral Medicine complete the department’s instructional activities. Most students in these training programs are concurrently enrolled in an MS degree program in Oral and Craniofacial Sciences. Additional training leading to the PhD in Oral and Craniofacial Sciences is also available.