The Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences conducts multidisciplinary instruction, research, and patient care programs through its seven divisions: Behavioral Sciences and Community Dental Education; Biomaterials and Bioengineering; Clinical General Dentistry; Endodontics; Oral Epidemiology and Dental Public Health; Pre-Clinical Simulation; and Prosthodontics.
Pre-clinical and clinical educational programs operate within the laboratories and clinics of the dental facilities on campus and through the school's satellite facilities, including the community clinics at San Francisco General Hospital and Buchanan Street. The postprofessional specialty clinic in graduate prosthodontics is located on campus.
In the predoctoral dental curriculum, Behavioral Sciences, Professionalism and Ethics, and Oral Epidemiology and Dental Public Health teach a stream of courses called "Successful Dental Practice" spread throughout the four-year curriculum. This core curriculum includes clinical care and current issues in dentistry, behavioral sciences, ethics, quality assurance, and practice management.
The educational goals of the Successful Dental Practice program include developing
- behavioral management and communications skills,
- ethical dentist-patient relations,
- sensitivity and social skills,
- practice management skills, and
- the ability to cultivate self-reflections and well-being.
The program integrates several disciplines including basic, clinical, and behavioral sciences under a common mission to introduce a more participatory educational format.
Research in the department spans the spectrum from basic to translational to clinical research. Areas of emphasis include the application of the analytical techniques of materials science to the characterization of dental hard tissues and restorative materials; characterization and testing of dental materials; the effects of restorative procedures on the dental pulp; basic research into that organ's biology; psychological aspects of temporomandibular joint disorders; preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic laser applications in dentistry; caries risk assessment; and caries prevention and management.
Research in Oral Epidemiology, Public Health, and Behavioral Science includes a spectrum of ongoing projects on the epidemiology of oral diseases and the delivery of dental care. Faculty in the department have ongoing studies in patient and population-based research, including clinical trials and other types of clinical research. One epidemiologic study is examining how dental diseases run in families. A series of studies in the behavioral sciences is investigating the effect of dentists' attitudes toward domestic violence and health care professionals' barriers to providing preventive care in a managed care environment.
Ongoing studies also include research into the use of smokeless tobacco products by professional baseball players, and developing the development of community-based tobacco prevention and cessation interventions. Faculty are working with dental insurers to develop new, nonsurgical approaches and insurance products that will emphasize preventive measures to prevent, treat, and manage dental caries that will emphasize preventive measures and nonsurgical procedures.
In collaboration with NYU Lutheran the department offers an Advanced Education in Dental Dentistry (AEGD) two-year program. The department also offers a three-year residency program in Prosthodontics and a two-year residency in Endodontics. In addition, the department offers postgraduate education in Dental Public Health and Epidemiology, in conjunction with the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley as part of the Dentist Scientist Award Program for dentists interested in combining specialty training with a PhD in Epidemiology. An accredited dental residency program in Dental Public Health is also available for dentists who are interested in specializing in Dental Public Health.