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University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry
Office of Academic Affairs
Fourth Floor
155 5th St.
San Francisco, CA 94103

Curriculum

Please use the tabs above to navigate to pages that contain detailed information about the curricula in predoctoral, dental hygiene, and graduate residency programs.

Units of Credit

One unit of credit is awarded for ten hours of lecture or seminar, twenty hours of laboratory or clinic, or thirty hours of independent study per term. In the predoctoral programs (DDS and IDS), students are assigned to comprehensive care clinics for approximately 500 hours during the second year and 1,000 hours during the third, in addition to specialty clinic rotations. Units of credit are assigned in the comprehensive care clinical disciplines in proportion to the amount of time students spend providing specific types of care for assigned patterns.

Full-time enrollment in the predoctoral programs at the School of Dentistry (DDS and IDS) is defined as 16 or more units per term.  Full-time enrollment in the graduate residency programs in orthodontics and endodontics is defined as 20 or more units per term.  For the graduate certificate programs in Advanced Education in General Dentistry and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, full-time enrollment is defined as 16 or more units per term.

Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)

 

Biomedical, preclinical, and clinical science subjects are integrated and combined with applied behavioral sciences in a program to prepare graduates to provide excellent quality dental care to the public and to enter a changing world that will require them to be critical thinkers and lifelong learners. The 36-month curriculum leading to the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery begins in July and is divided into twelve quarters, each consisting of ten weeks of instruction, one week of examinations, and a vacation period of varying length (between one and four weeks).

Integrated biomedical science instruction in human anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, and microbiology is offered over the first eight quarters, followed by multidisciplinary presentations of basic science foundations for clinical topics such as the importance of saliva, tissue aging, nutrition, and infection control. Throughout the curriculum, students learn to apply basic science knowledge to clinical problems using the scientific method of inquiry.  Integrated preclinical instruction in operative dentistry, fixed prosthodontics, and dental anatomy is concentrated in the first four quarters with students learning to work from a seated position in a modern preclinical simulation laboratory and with a chair-side assistant in conjunction with pediatric dental practice. Preclinical instruction in removable prosthodontics, occlusion, and implants is offered in quarters 5-7. Clinical work with patients is initiated in the fourth quarter.

The school is a pioneer in competency-based education, an approach that replaces the traditional system of clinical requirements with experiences that ensure graduates possess the knowledge, skills, and values needed to begin the independent practice of general dentistry. Pacific is also known for its humanistic approach to dental education, stressing the dignity of each individual and his or her value as a person.

The Clinical Practice Strand of the Helix curriculum supports comprehensive patient care which is based on the concept of private dental practice where the student assumes responsibility for assigned patients' overall treatment, consultation, and referral for specialty care. In this strand, second-year students practice clinical dentistry approximately 15 hours per week and third year students practice approximately 33 hours per week. They learn to provide comprehensive dental care under the direction of a team of clinical faculty led by the Group Practice Leader (GPL).

The GPL teams with group practice mentors (GPMs) to supervise the following disciplines in each group practice: oral diagnosis and treatment planning, emergency dental care, uncomplicated periodontics, uncomplicated endodontics, operative dentistry, fixed prosthodontics, removable prosthodontics, uncomplicated extractions, and uncomplicated implant cases. In addition, test cases in most of these disciplines are supervised by at least two members of the faculty team. There are three GPMs in each group practice during a clinic session and students may work with all three mentors during the course of an appointment. The group practice model maintains a student to faculty ratio of approximately 5:1. The GPM/GPL monitors the progress of care and completes periodic case reviews with the patient and the student.

Each student provides care to all patients in his or her patient population. Occasionally, other caregivers, a second- or third-year student, resident, or faculty member, complete certain procedures in any given treatment plan. The GPL coordinates this process which also requires approval of the patient. The student dentist originally assigned to provide care to the patient maintains responsibility for care during all treatment provided by other practitioners.

The second- and third-year class is divided alphabetically into eight group practices. There are about twenty second-year and twenty third-year students in each group practice, which is managed by the GPL, who has overall responsibility for the care of patients by all students and faculty in the group practice. Other clinical disciplines are managed by faculty who do not have specific responsibility for a certain group of students. Specialists in endodontics manage more complex cases in a specified area of the clinic, including test cases. Periodontists manage most periodontal procedures. The Complex Care Clinic allows students to treat more technically difficult restorative cases under the supervision of trained faculty members with a low student-to-faculty ratio.

There are four discipline exceptions to the comprehensive care model: oral and maxillofacial surgery, pediatric dentistry, oral medicine/facial pain, and radiology. Students are assigned to rotations for two to three weeks in each of these disciplines, except for the oral medicine/facial pain rotations which are one day each. In orthodontics, students participate with faculty and orthodontic residents in adjunctive orthodontic care and in oral development clinics. Third-year students also rotate through the Special Care Clinic where they treat perinatal patients, dental-phobic patients, and patients with developmental disabilities. In addition, each student provides care in the hospital operating room on patients with specific health issues, including liver transplant patients.

Advanced clinical dentistry and evaluation of new developments and topics that involve several disciplines are learned in the third year in conjunction with patient care. Second- and third- year students participate in patient care at extramural sites located in numerous treatment facilities around the Bay Area, including acute care hospitals, community clinics, and skilled nursing facilities.  At extramural clinic sites, students are taught by Pacific faculty in conditions that more closely resemble private practice, and typically treat 4-6 patients per day.  Rotations occur at a number of different times, including weekdays during the academic year, weekends, and vacation periods. Students typically find these experiences to be highly educational, teaching them how to provide excellent patient care in a condensed time frame. Students may elect to participate in externships to specialty programs during academic break periods, most often the four-week summer break.

Behavioral science aspects of ethics, communication, human resource and practice management, and dental jurisprudence are integrated across the curriculum. Epidemiology and demography of the older population, basic processes of aging, and dental management of hospitalized patients, geriatric patients, and those with the most common disabling conditions are studied during the third year.

Students are counseled individually with regard to establishing a practice and applying for postgraduate education. A weekend conference in the senior year acquaints students with opportunities for postgraduate education and with alumni views of the realities of dental practice.

International Dental Studies Program (IDS)

 

Biomedical, preclinical, and clinical science subjects are integrated and combined with applied behavioral sciences in a program to prepare graduates to provide excellent quality dental care to the public and to enter a changing world that will require them to be critical thinkers and lifelong learners. The 24-month curriculum leading to the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery begins in July and is divided into eight quarters, each consisting of ten weeks of instruction, one week of examinations, and a vacation period of varying length (between one and four weeks).  Students in the IDS program are held to the same competency standards as their peers in the DDS program.   

Integrated preclinical instruction is concentrated in the first three quarters with students learning to work from a seated position in a modern preclinical simulation laboratory and with a chair-side assistant in conjunction with pediatric dental practice. Clinical work with patients is initiated in the third quarter.

The school is a pioneer in competency-based education, an approach that replaces the traditional system of clinical requirements with experiences that ensure graduates possess the skills, understanding, and professional values needed for the independent practice of general dentistry. Pacific is also known for its humanistic approach to dental education, stressing the dignity of each individual and his or her value as a person.

The Clinical Practice Strand of the Helix curriculum supports comprehensive patient care which is based on the concept of private dental practice where the student assumes responsibility for assigned patients' overall treatment, consultation, and referral for specialty care. In this strand, first-year students practice clinical dentistry approximately fifteen hours per week and second-year students practice approximately thirty-three hours per week. Like their DDS peers, IDS students learn to provide comprehensive dental care under the direction of a team of clinical faculty led by the Group Practice Leader (GPL).

The GPL teams with group practice mentors (GPMs) to supervise the following disciplines in each group practice: oral diagnosis and treatment planning, emergency dental care, uncomplicated periodontics, uncomplicated endodontics, operative dentistry, fixed prosthodontics, removable prosthodontics, uncomplicated extractions, and uncomplicated implant cases. In addition, test cases in most of these disciplines are supervised by at least two members of the faculty team. There are three GPMs in each group practice during a clinic session and students may work with all three mentors during the course of an appointment. The group practice model maintains a student to faculty ratio of approximately 5:1. The GPM/GPL monitors the progress of care and completes periodic case reviews with the patient and the student.

Each student provides care to all patients in his or her patient population. Occasionally, other caregivers, a second- or third-year student, resident, or faculty member, complete certain procedures in any given treatment plan. The GPL coordinates this process which also requires approval of the patient. The student dentist originally assigned to provide care to the patient maintains responsibility for care during all treatment provided by other practitioners.

The first- and second-year IDS class is divided alphabetically into eight group practices. There are about 45 students in each group practice, including IDS students.  Each group practice is managed by the GPL, who has overall responsibility for the care of patients by all students and faculty in the group practice. Other clinical disciplines are managed by faculty who do not have specific responsibility for a certain group of students. Specialists in endodontics manage more complex cases in a specified area of the clinic, including test cases. Periodontists manage most periodontal procedures. The Complex Care Clinic allows students to treat more technically difficult restorative cases under the supervision of trained faculty members with a low student-to-faculty ratio.

There are four discipline exceptions to the comprehensive care model: oral and maxillofacial surgery, pediatric dentistry, oral medicine/facial pain, and radiology. Students are assigned to rotations for two to three weeks in each of these disciplines, except for the oral medicine/facial pain rotations which are one day each. In orthodontics, students participate with faculty and orthodontic residents in adjunctive orthodontic care and in oral development clinics. Second-year students also rotate through the Special Care Clinic where they treat perinatal patients, dental-phobic patients, and patients with developmental disabilities. In addition, each student provides care in the hospital operating room on patients with specific health issues, including liver transplant patients.

Advanced clinical dentistry and evaluation of new developments and topics that involve several disciplines are learned in the second year in conjunction with patient care. Second-year IDS students participate in patient care at extramural sites in numerous treatment facilities around the Bay Area, including acute care hospitals, community clinics, and skilled nursing facilities. At extramural clinic sites, students are taught by Pacific faculty in conditions that more closely resemble private practice and typically treat 4-6 patients per day.  Rotations at these sites occur at a number of different times, including weekdays during the academic year, weekends, and vacation periods. Students typically find these experiences to be highly educational, teaching them how to provide excellent patient care in a more condensed time frame.  IDS students can elect to participate in externships to specialty programs during academic break periods, most often the four-week summer break.

Behavioral science aspects of ethics, communication, human resource and practice management, and dental jurisprudence are integrated throughout the curriculum. Epidemiology and demography of the older population, basic processes of aging, and dental management of hospitalized patients, geriatric patients, and those with the most common disabling conditions are studied during the final year.

Students are counseled individually with regard to establishing a practice and applying for postgraduate education. A weekend conference acquaints IDS students with opportunities for postgraduate education and with alumni views of the realities of dental practice.

Endodontology

Endodontic residents participate in a comprehensive 27-month program designed to provide in-depth clinical training in endodontics, supported by a solid foundation of coursework in the biologic principles that uphold the specialty.  In addition to a curriculum that nurtures the clinician-scientist, the program offers clinical experiences with an extensive patient demographic supported by the School of Dentistry and a community dental clinic that is part of an expansive health care network in the East San Francisco Bay Area.  Each resident will also engage in an investigative project and complete an acceptable thesis to qualify for the Master of Science in Dentistry degree. The thesis is typically submitted for publication in scientific journals.  Classes begin each July.  Residents are scheduled for classroom and clinical instruction five full days (and some evenings) per week and full participation is required.

The graduate program in endodontology is fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accredition.  

More information on the program, including admissions requirements, curriculum and schedule, graduation and certification requirements are available here.

Orthodontics

Pacific’s orthodontics residency program, instituted in 1971, is fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, and is recognized for educational eligibility by the American Board of Orthodontics. The program’s courses prepare the resident to provide excellent treatment based on contemporary biologic orthodontic principles.

Faculty members foster the humanistic atmosphere with informal professional relationships and mutual respect with the residents. Clinical instruction and practice are conducted in the orthodontic clinic.

Residents treat an entire range of orthodontic problems during seven half-day clinics per week including instruction in general orthodontics, mixed dentition treatment, surgical orthodontics, mini-implants, and Invisalign. Adult patients constitute about one-fourth of a resident’s case load. Each resident starts approximately 50 new patients and is transferred approximately 60-80 existing patients. Fixed appliance treatment employs the edgewise technique although instruction permits a wide latitude of clinical variation based on patient needs and faculty supervision.

Each resident engages in an investigative project and must complete an acceptable thesis to qualify for the Master of Science in Dentistry degree.

Residents are scheduled for didactic and clinical instruction five full days per week and full participation is required. While there is no prohibition of weekend private dental practice, residents’ commitments during the program seriously limit this opportunity.

More information on the program, including admissions requirements, curriculum and schedule, graduation and certification requirements is available here.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Program

The sponsoring Institutions for the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency program are the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and the Alameda Health System/Highland Hospital.   Residents receive a thorough foundation in the basic biomedical sciences, including anatomy, pathology, pharmacology, and physiology.

The residency is 48 months in length, and is divided into 34 months of oral and maxillofacial surgery, 2 months of internal medicine, 5 months of anesthesia (2 months of adult anesthesia and 1 month of pediatric anesthesia), 5 months of surgery (2 months of general surgery, 2 months of trauma surgery and 1 month of SICU), and 2 months of plastic surgery/oral pathology.  There are several hospitals and clinics utilized for clinical training.  The main hospital and training site is Alameda Health System/Highland Hospital, and the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry.  Affiliated hospitals include University of California San Francisco's Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland and Kaiser Hospital in Oakland. 

Training is rigorous and includes experience in:

  • Adult and pediatric conscious sedation and general anesthesia
  • Dentoalveolar surgery and implant surgery
  • Complex maxillofacial trauma of adult and pediatric population
  • Maxillofacial reconstructive surgery
  • Orthognathic surgery
  • Oral and maxillofacial pathology
  • Cleft surgeries
  • Facial cosmetic surgery
  • Temporomandibular joint surgery

Stipend

Residents receive salaries from PGY1 to PGY4.

Admission Requirements and Application

To apply to the program, a candidate requires an undergraduate degree, transcripts showing a DDS or DMD degree, a completed PASS application, National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) Comprehensive Basic Science Examination (CBSE) score, and three letters of recommendation. University of the Pacific/Highland participates in the National Matching Service. Please see the Alameda Health System webpage for complete admission requirements.

For more information please contact:

Rachelle Surdilla
OMS Program Coordinator
Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
University of the Pacific/Alameda Health System - Highland Hospital
1411 East 31st Street
Oakland, CA 94602
Phone: (510) 437-4101
Email: rsurdilla@alamedahealthsystem.org
 

Advanced Education in General Dentistry

The University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry houses its Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) residency program in Union City, approximately 35 miles southeast of San Francisco.

The AEGD program is a one-year accredited postgraduate residency in general dentistry with an optional second year. The core of the program involves advanced clinical treatment of patients requiring comprehensive general dental care to healthy as well as medically compromised patients. Rotations are strategically set for additional training in geriatrics, pediatrics, hospital dentistry, implant restorations and dental emergencies. The AEGD program has an emphasis in minimally invasive and prevention based dentistry such as CAMBRA (CAries Management By Risk Assessment). We feature CAD/CAM restorations, complex implant restoration, Invisalign, and Cone Beam technology. There is an all-encompassing seminar series which covers all dental specialties and participation in rotations at community clinics and in a hospital setting.

The start date for the program is July 1. Residents have time off during the school's winter break and 10 days leave that can be scheduled with the approval of the program director. 

Applicants must show record they have graduated from North American dental school.  There is no tuition to participate in the program; residents receive an educational stipend. The program uses the American Dental Education Association's PASS application to receive application materials. For further information on the Pacific AEGD program application process, please click here. To learn more about the Union City Dental Care Center, please click here.

International General Dentist Educator Program

In this five-year program, the first two years consist of participation in the AEGD program, and the remaining three years consist of attaining a Master's or doctoral degree in professional education and leadership from the University's Benerd School of Education.

The clinical residency and graduate program for international general dentists is a dual-track program consisting of clinical and didactic education. The clinical track is mainly intended to prepare the candidate for a career in patient care and clinical education. The didactic track and teaching practicum are mainly intended to prepare the candidate for a full-time career in dental academia. However, each track may have overlapping features in terms of purpose.

Clinical education is provided under a two-year residency program leading to a clinical certificate upon completion of both years one and two. Didactic education is provided under the two-year graduate program leading to a Master's in Education. The final year of the program will consist of completing the thesis project if not completed in the previous year, and teaching practicum in didactic, pre-clinical, and clinical education of doctoral students. Please click here for more information about this program.

Dental Hygiene Program

The Study of Dental Hygiene

The dental hygiene course of study is an undergraduate, upper division professional program where students learn to provide preventive clinical care for patients with emphasis on recognition, treatment, and prevention of oral diseases. In addition to performing a variety of preventive and therapeutic functions, the dental hygienist also has a major role in counseling and educating patients, community groups, and other health professionals. The curriculum helps students build the educational, communication, and clinical skills necessary to work in co-therapy with the dental team.

Facilities

Beginning in January 2017, the dental hygiene program will be located at University of the Pacific’s San Francisco campus, along with other dental programs offered at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. The program’s move will allow for increased connection to the school’s San Francisco-based dental clinics and programs; enhanced interprofessional collaboration in the field of oral healthcare; opportunities for dental hygiene students to learn alongside other dental students in the DDS, IDS and residency programs; and a large base of patients who utilize the school’s clinics. The San Francisco campus is a state-of-the-art facility located in the South of Market (SoMa) district and is highly accessible by all major forms of public transportation, including BART and Muni.

The Dental Hygiene program will continue to be located at University of the Pacific’s Stockton campus through December 2016. The program is currently based in the Chan Family Health Sciences Learning Center, a facility shared with Physical Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Dental Hygiene Program is competitive and based on merit. Students who have completed program prerequisites (at Pacific or another learning institution) will apply via the American Dental Education Association’s Centralized Application Service (DHCAS). After review of completed applications, the Office of Admissions will invite qualified candidates to participate in interviews on the San Francisco campus. In addition to a personal interview, applicants are invited to meet informally with current students and tour the campus. Admission will be based on the combination of application information and interview.

Students may apply as freshmen to a pre-dental hygiene pathway presented on the university’s main campus in Stockton. Prerequisite coursework may be completed through learning experiences with the general undergraduate student population. Students in the pre-dental hygiene pathway will be guaranteed an interview for the upper division professional dental hygiene program if they maintain at least a 2.7 GPA. 

Please click here to see detailed admissions information.

Program Description

The Baccalaureate Dental Hygiene program is a professional program presented in an accelerated year-round format, including summer and culminating with the bachelor of science in dental hygiene degree. Transfer program entrants, with prerequisites fulfilled, complete the final four semesters of professional coursework which begins every year in January.

Program applicants must complete prerequisite general education courses either at Pacific or another institution to provide a strong science background and a broad base in the humanities.  The prerequisites are designed to strengthen dental hygiene science and clinical practice.

The professional portion of the program is a highly-structured four consecutive semesters of upper division coursework that includes both didactic and clinical experience. This portion of the program is presented by the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry Dental Hygiene Program on the Stockton campus until January 2017, when it will then be offered on the San Francisco campus.

Dental Hygiene Licensure

Completion of the program enables graduates to take national and regional or state licensure examinations. For California examination information contact:

Dental Hygiene Committee of California
2005 Evergreen Street., Suite 1050
Sacramento, CA 95815
http://www.dhcc.ca.gov/

(916) 263-1978 or (916) 263-1978

General Education Curriculum

Dental hygiene prerequisites consist of general education courses providing a strong science background and a broad base in the humanities.

Please click here to see more about the general education requirements in this program.

Dental Hygiene Curriculum

Professional training is undertaken in four consecutive semesters following prerequisites. The curriculum provides students with the knowledge of oral health and disease as a basis for assuming responsibility to assess, plan, implement and evaluate dental hygiene services for both the individual patient and community oral health programs.

Please click here to see more about the professional training requirements in this program.